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November 29, 2021 2:19 pm

Bipartisan Group of 87 Lawmakers Call on Biden to Request Iron Dome Funding

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A tote board shows the votes of members of Congress as US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presides over the final of two House of Representatives votes approving two counts of impeachment against US President Donald Trump in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, US, December 18, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

A group of 87 members of Congress have written to President Joe Biden to urge him to support supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The funding, which would replenish the system’s stock of interceptor rockets and also sponsor its expansion, has had a rocky road to approval.

After the $1 billion marked for Iron Dome was excluded from a broader spending bill by several progressive House members, it overwhelmingly passed the House in a standalone measure. However, that bill has yet to come before the Senate for a vote, primarily due to obstruction by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

The letter’s signatories noted that the appropriations deadline is Dec. 3, and asked the president to specifically ask Congress to include funding for the missile defense system in an appropriations bill.

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“Replenishing Israel’s stock of Iron Dome interceptors and expanding its missile defense system is a critical investment that will protect both Israeli and Palestinian lives and homes, as well as America’s national security interests,” asserted the group of mostly Democrats.

The current impasse over the appropriation is “jeopardizing civilian lives and the security of our key ally Israel in its time of need,” said the letter, which was spearheaded by New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer.

“We must ensure that the Iron Dome is equipped to protect Israel without the risk that it could be overwhelmed, or its stockpile of interceptors depleted,” they said. “Israel must always have the resources it needs to defend itself from incoming terrorist rockets.”

“Please know that Congress stands with your Administration in its commitment to ensure Israel’s peace, security, and capability to defend itself from any attack,” they concluded.

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