US Senator Blocks $1 Billion Measure To Replenish Iron Dome
A US senator has blocked an attempt to provide Israel with $1 billion to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, voted against a measure to allocate the funds, preventing its approval under the unanimous consent approval. He said that he understands that the approval would “help” Israel but that he would only approve the expenditure if there is an offset somewhere else. It is the fourth time that Paul has blocked the funds in the last two months. The measure must also be approved by the House of Representatives.
Israel needs to replenish the system’s interception rockets, after depleting its supply during the 11-day cross-border conflict with Hamas, which fired some 4,400 rockets at populated areas in Israel. The Iron Dome system took out more than 80% of those rockets.
“There’s no question that the US has been a very good ally of Israel over time,” Paul said on the floor of the Senate. “Probably, funds exceeding $80 to $100 billion have been expended to Israel over the last four decades. Just on missile defense, the United States has given Israel $ 7 billion. I’m not disputing whether or not the extra billion dollars would help them. I’ll vote for the extra billion dollars. And that’s what I will propose today, but it should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.”
He proposed diverting money from a fund designated for the Afghan national government, which has been frozen since the takeover of the Taliban.