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 »
SANDERS UP TEN POINTS
Trump Leads Tightly Packed Group Vying for Second
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

In one of the last surveys before New Hampshirites actually vote, a Monmouth poll has Donald Trump with a big edge on the Republican field. His 30% leads a cluster of rivals in the low-to-mid teens, including John Kasich (14%), Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio (13% each) and Ted Cruz (12%). On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 52%-42%.

Source:
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
‘HERMETICALLY SEALED’
Bill Goes on the Offensive Against Bernie
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

“Bill Clinton uncorked an extended attack on … Bernie Sanders on Sunday, harshly criticizing” the senator “and his supporters for what he described as inaccurate and ‘sexist’ attacks on Hillary Clinton. ‘When you’re making a revolution you can’t be too careful with the facts,’ … Clinton said. … The former president … portrayed his wife’s opponent … as hypocritical, ‘hermetically sealed’ and dishonest.”

Source:
×