Sen. Rand Paul Puts Brakes on Quick Funding for Iron Dome Replenishment
Claiming it’s a matter of funding and not a statement on the US-Israel relationship, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, threw a wrench in what until now was to be fast-tracked funds earmarked to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense batteries that were put to the test during 11 days of fighting in May. During that time, almost 5,000 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, many in clusters designed to test the missile defense system’s effectiveness against multiple launches. The intense period of warfare left Israel needing a $1 billion infusion of funds from the United States to return the Iron Dome to full readiness. Paul introduced a resolution on Monday that would have required the money to come from previously approved allocations for Afghanistan as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, was trying to obtain a unanimous vote on the original resolution, which would allow it to go through quickly. The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC blasted Rand over the incident.