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House removes funding for Israel’s Iron Dome from spending bill

The head of the House Appropriations Committee said Israel will receive additional funding in a separate defense bill as the deadline to the end of the fiscal year nears.
Israel's Iron Dome anti missile system launches to intercept a rocket on May 20, 2021 in Sderot, Israel.

Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome has been removed from a spending bill in the House of Representatives.

Members of Congress are currently scrambling to pass legislation to keep the government funded after the 2021 fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. The bill, known as House Resolution 5305, originally included funding for Israel’s aerial defense system known as the Iron Dome. However, such funding was removed from the bill on Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut said in a statement. DeLauro chairs the powerful committee.

DeLauro said she and fellow Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum agreed to provide additional funding to Israel in a defense appropriations bill for 2022. McCollum heads the Defense Appropriations Committee and is actually a critic of US aid to Israel.

DeLauro said the change will not affect Israel’s security because the Iron Dome is at “full capacity," adding any spending that is passed into law takes 12 to 18 months to reach Israel anyway.

“Let me be clear: The United States must fully live up to our commitments to our friend and our ally Israel,” she said.

The latest text of the bill does not mention the Iron Dome. It would fund the government until Dec. 3.

The removal came at the behest of progressive Democrats, The Hill reported. Many progressive Democrats in the House vocally criticize US support for Israel.

The change to the bill led to criticism from lawmakers in both parties. Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York slammed the modification.

"A missile defense system (i.e., the Iron Dome) defends civilians from missiles. Hence the name. Only in a morally inverted universe would this be considered a ‘controversy,’" Torres tweeted.

Republican Rep. Kay Granger has already introduced an amendment to re-add Iron Dome funding into the bill.

The House of Representatives convened late Tuesday afternoon to continue discussions on government-funding bills.

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