Entertainment

AOC and ‘The Squad’ force Dems to pull $1B funding for Israel’s Iron Dome from stopgap spending bill


House Democrats removed a provision to give Israel $1 billion toward its Iron Dome defense system from the continuing resolution to keep the government open and funded past September 30 after opposition from the Squad. 

The US was forced into crisis talks with Israel in the fallout, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reportedly telling Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid the removal of funds from the stopgap bill was only a ‘technical delay.’ 

Hoyer told Lapid the money would be transferred ‘in the near future.’ 

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Pramila Jayapal of Washington are leading the blockade, according reports.

Funding for the Iron Dome will instead be included in Congress’ bipartisan fiscal year 2022 defense bill, House Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro said on Tuesday. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to all three progressives’ offices but has not yet heard back. 

Top Republican lawmakers have already panned Democrats for capitulating to the progressive wing.

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among the progressive lawmakers pushing to get the funding for Israel out of the funding bill

Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip

Streaks of light are seen as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip 

Israel's Iron Dome has been operational since 2011 and is one of the most sophisticated defense systems in the world

Israel’s Iron Dome has been operational since 2011 and is one of the most sophisticated defense systems in the world

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote on Twitter, ‘Democrats just pulled funding from the Iron Dome—the missile defense system that has saved countless lives in Israel from Hamas’ rocket attacks. 

‘While Dems capitulate to the antisemitic influence of their radical members, Republicans will always stand with Israel.’

Rep. Elise Stafanik, who heads the House Republican Conference, labeled Democrats ‘the party attacking Israel and their inherent right to self-defense.’

‘Republicans stand strongly with Israel and support [the Iron Dome],’ the New York lawmaker wrote on Twitter.

Rep. August Pfluger of Texas said, ‘Democrats don’t support the Iron Dome anymore. Does that mean they want rockets to hit civilians? This party gets more radical by the day.’ 

Republican leaders in the House quickly spoke out in outrage after Democrats pulled the provision

Republican leaders in the House quickly spoke out in outrage after Democrats pulled the provision

Senator Ted Cruz, who vowed to filibuster Democrats' attempt to take action on the debt ceiling, also lambasted their decision to pull the funding

Senator Ted Cruz, who vowed to filibuster Democrats’ attempt to take action on the debt ceiling, also lambasted their decision to pull the funding

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who vowed to filibuster the measure when it got to the Senate, accused Democratic leaders of surrendering to progressives.

‘Tragic. Dem leadership surrenders to the anti-Semitic Left. They hate Israel so much that Dems are stripping $1 BILLION in funding for Iron Dome—a purely defensive system that protects countless innocent civilians from Hamas rockets,’ he wrote on Twitter.

Cruz added, ‘Will any Dems have the courage to denounce?’

The House is still aiming to pass the stopgap funding bill to keep the government running until December 3 today. 

But during the House Rules Committee’s Tuesday morning session, Chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts unexpectedly called a recess before getting to the legislation.

‘We just have one [thing] to resolve, I hope it won’t take very long,’ McGovern said.

‘I thought we were all set, but we have a little glitch we’ve got to figure out.’ 

The session resumed on Tuesday afternoon after a few hours’ delay. 

The push to remove funding for Israeli defense from the stopgap spending bill reportedly comes from Squad members Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Along with money to keep federal agencies running and their employees paid, the 93-page spending bill also includes $28.6 billion in disaster aid and $6.3 billion to help resettle Afghan refugees. 

The measure would also suspend the debt ceiling until after the midterm elections, December 2022. 

Lawmakers also included a provision to keep Republicans in the House happy, ordering the Pentagon to produce a report on military equipment left behind in Afghanistan. 

But the progressives took issue with the funds aimed at boosting Israel’s military defense. 

That group reportedly includes progressive Democrats who signed a resolution in May aimed at blocking a $735 weapons sale to Israel during deadly violence between Israel and Hamas. 

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Rep. Mark Pocan were the resolution’s lead sponsors.

Pocan’s office has told DailyMail.com that he is not part of the current effort to block the continuing resolution. 

House Rules Chair Rep. Jim McGovern interrupted lawmakers' session due to a 'little glitch' - reportedly that was Democrats' threat to tank the spending bill

House Rules Chair Rep. Jim McGovern interrupted lawmakers’ session due to a ‘little glitch’ – reportedly that was Democrats’ threat to tank the spending bill

The Squad's fellow Democrats are already bristling at their party's sudden reversal

The Squad’s fellow Democrats are already bristling at their party’s sudden reversal

Lawmakers missed a July deadline to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, forcing the US Treasury into extraordinary measures to keep up the flow of dollars through government.

But that money is weeks away from running out, according to estimates by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The measure was expected to pass the Democrat-controlled House today.

With just a narrow majority, they can only afford to lose three votes to still get it through.

But moderate Democrats are already bristling at the sudden change in direction.

‘Iron Dome is a defensive system used by one of our closest allies to save civilian lives. It needs to be replenished because thousands of rockets were fired by the Hamas terrorists who control Gaza,’ Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

‘Consider this my pushing back against this decision.’ 

Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin said taking issue with funding for the Iron Dome comes from a ‘desire to attack’ anything related to Israel rather than a ‘genuine concern.

In a lengthy Twitter post, the ex-CIA analyst detailed the system’s development, writing ‘it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers.’

‘Whatever your views on the Israeli-Pal conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic,’ Slotkin said.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system has been operational since 2011 and is considered one of the most advanced defense technologies in the world

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has been operational since 2011 and is considered one of the most advanced defense technologies in the world

She highlighted that continued support of the Iron Dome was part of a 2016 memorandum negotiated under the Obama administration.

‘All of this is publicly-available information. So to target Iron Dome now means the issue isn’t a genuine concern over the system, but rather the desire to attack something – anything – related to the State of Israel; it’s devoid of substance and irresponsible,’ she writes.

Even if the legislation passes the House today, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed Republicans will oppose it.

Israel’s Iron Dome has been operational since 2011 and is one of the most sophisticated defense systems in the world. It was created by Israeli military firms with additional support from the US. 

The all-weather system uses radar technology to detect incoming airborne threats and destroy them before they can cause damage.

The radar then activates a control center that calculates a rocket’s flight path. If it’s found to be dangerous, interceptor missiles are launched to detonate the incoming weapon.

Each Iron Dome ‘battery’ comprised of radar, control center and missiles costs roughly $100 million.  

Missiles fired from the Iron Dome cost between $50,000 and $80,000, according to estimates from the Jerusalem Post. 

Israel uses Iron Dome systems to defend on land as well as at sea, where it can be fixed to Navy ships to guard offshore property. 

Designed to stop short-range missiles from Gaza, the Iron Dome came under one of its most significant tests this past May as tensions between Israel and Hamas reached a deadly boiling point.

Of more than 3,000 rockets fired at Israel during the short but bloody conflict, the Israeli military claimed that roughly 90 percent were successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome. 



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button