Funding for Israel’s Missile-Defense System Heads to Obama’s Desk

Iron Dome gets last-minute passage in both chambers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak during a ceremony in the Capitol Visitor Center July 18, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Michael Catalini
See more stories about...
Michael Catalini
Aug. 1, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

The House and Sen­ate on Fri­day both passed an emer­gency spend­ing meas­ure for Is­rael’s mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem, known as Iron Dome.

The last-minute, un­an­im­ous pas­sage in the Sen­ate came after the cham­ber failed to clear a $2.7 bil­lion emer­gency sup­ple­ment­al ap­pro­pri­ation for the crisis at the U.S. south­ern bor­der and $615 mil­lion for wild­fires burn­ing in the West.

The $225 mil­lion meas­ure passed by un­an­im­ous con­sent, with both Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id and Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell voicing their sup­port for Is­rael, which is en­gaged in fight­ing with Palestini­ans in Ga­za, where a cease-fire fell apart Fri­day morn­ing.

“By passing this bi­par­tis­an meas­ure, we send a mes­sage to Hamas that its ter­ror­ist tac­tics and its at­tempts to ter­ror­ize Is­rael’s popu­lace will not suc­ceed,” Mc­Con­nell said.

The House, mean­while, ap­proved the bill 395-8 — with just four Re­pub­lic­ans and four Demo­crats op­posed — Fri­day night after much more nar­rowly passing two im­mig­ra­tion meas­ures.

The pas­sage un­der­scores just how pop­u­lar sup­port­ing the state of Is­rael is, es­pe­cially in an elec­tion year when law­makers are eager to tan­gibly demon­strate their sup­port.

The move was not en­tirely un­ex­pec­ted. Lead­ers sug­ges­ted earli­er in the week that the fund­ing for Is­rael could be split from the bor­der-bill sup­ple­ment­al, and the dis­agree­ment over amend­ments that doomed the lar­ger fund­ing pack­age did not ex­tend to the money for Is­rael.

“As a treas­ured ally, it’s im­port­ant that we en­able Is­rael to guard them­selves against Hamas,” said Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Bar­bara Mikul­ski, who with Re­id and Mc­Con­nell sponsored the bill.

The le­gis­la­tion, though, was not without some token op­pos­i­tion. Sen. Tom Coburn of Ok­lahoma sought to off­set the cost of the fund­ing, but ul­ti­mately did not pre­vail.

The meas­ure was ad­op­ted un­an­im­ously, so Coburn or any sen­at­or could have ob­jec­ted to de­rail the bill.

The Sen­ate re­mains in ses­sion, but no roll-call votes are ex­pec­ted, and mem­bers have already de­par­ted for the Au­gust re­cess.

What We're Following See More »
STAYING RELEVANT TIL 2020?
Rubio May Run for Reelection After All
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SOCIAL ISSUES ROIL CONGRESS AGAIN
LGBT Amendment Sinks Energy and Water Approps
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
SCREENING DELAYS
70,000 Have Missed American Airlines Flights This Year
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday. A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours."

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
×