US senator blocks passage of bill to fund Israel’s Iron Dome

US senator blocks passage of bill to fund Israel’s Iron Dome

US Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has reportedly voted to block yet another attempt to provide the Israeli regime with $1 billion grant to replenish its Iron dome anti-air missile system.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): US Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has reportedly voted to block yet another attempt to provide the Israeli regime with $1 billion grant to replenish its Iron dome anti-air missile system.

Paul refused to cast his vote after pro-Israeli Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called on the Senate for unanimous consent to proceed with the House version of the bill to fund the missile system of the occupying regime, insisting on the need to find a financial source to the legislation, the UK-based Middle East Monitor reported Saturday, citing Israeli news outlets.

"I've consistently opposed spending outside of the budget unless it's offset by spending cuts elsewhere,” Paul argued in opposition to the demand for the unanimous consent of the entire US Senate, adding: “It's not only an opinion that I hold. It's actually the law. It's called pay as you go."

Pointing to US government’s expenditure of over $100 billion to the Israeli regime over the years, the Kentucky senator further explained: "There's no question that the US has been a very good ally of Israel over time. Probably, funds exceeding 80 to 100 billion have been expended to Israel over the last four decades.”

He went on to unveil that only in the issue of missiles, "the United States has given Israel seven billion."

Influential pro-Israel lobby groups in the US reportedly censured Democratic members of Congress back in October after the leadership of the House of Representatives briefly delayed a vote on the bill to fund the Israeli missile system in the face of fierce opposition by a number of progressive lawmakers objecting to persisting human rights abuses committed by the occupying regime against native Palestinians.

The passage of the House bill was initially blocked through an initiative spearheaded by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. However, Democratic Party leaders vowed to bring the matter up again later.

Among the pro-Israeli lobby groups censuring Senator Paul’s refusal to cast a blind vote to fund the Israeli military project was the New York-based American Jewish Committee (AJC), accusing him of “obstruction” and delaying the Iron Dome funding.

"With Senator Paul's latest obstruction, it appears Iron Dome funding – though enjoying overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, as well as from the administration – is unlikely to move before February, unless leadership can find a procedural detour around his roadblock," said AJC’s Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Issacson.

Isaacson further complained that the US Senate's procedure functions on the basis of unanimous consent and that one Senator could obstruct progress on almost any measure.

Earlier this month, Congress declared plans to scrap its requirement for the US Army to procure two additional batteries of the Rafael-Raytheon developed Iron Dome as an interim cruise missile capability.

The recently-passed US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022 would reportedly eliminate the requirement in order to prioritize resources for the service to pursue an enduring Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC).

IFPC is allegedly designed to defend fixed or semi-fixed sites against drones, cruise missiles and rockets as well as artillery and mortars.

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