About ten days after the House of Representatives passed a suspension bill to provide Israel with the $1 billion funding aimed at helping Israel to replenish its stockpile of Iron Dome interceptors, GOP Senator blocked on Monday a quick vote to fast track the bill, The Jerusalem Post reports.
The expedited vote that was envisioning only two hours of debate instead of the days-long floor process on the bill, was effort of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Democrat Robert Menendez, who noted there’s no conceivable reason why anyone should stand in the way of US support for the lifesaving defense of Israel.
Menendez urged his colleagues from both parties to follow the suit of passing the funding on a broadly bipartisan effort like the House of Representatives that passed the Iron Dome funding last month.
On order to achieve that goal, the House Democratic leadership removed the funding from a short-term government funding package in an effort to accommodate progressives’ concerns and prevent potential defections.
Being one of the most outspoken opponents of foreign aid, Senator Paul proposed eliminating assistance to Israel few years ago. Pointing he’s glad that the US has a strong bond with Israel, he stressed that he supports both Israel and the Iron Dome but noted the US cannot give money it does not have no matter how strong that relationship is.
Paul’s spokesperson said later that the Republican senator will drop his objection to the Iron Dome hotlining if the $1 billion comes from proposed $6 billion assistance in reconstruction funds to Afghanistan, money that could otherwise go to the Taliban.
Paul also believes that the remaining $5 billion should being sent back to the Treasury.
After Senator Menendez blocked Pauls’ attempt to alter the House bill, the GOP Senator rejected Menendez’s attempt to set up a quick vote.
Meanwhile, both the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Christians United For Israel (CUFI) pressed Paul to support the bill but after the vote, CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee condemned Paul accusing him is treating the replenishment of this vital system as a political game.