JERUSALEM, Israel – Republican Senator Rand Paul on Monday blocked an attempt by the US Senate to fast-track $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
Democrat Bob Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, brought the Iron Dome funding bill to the Senate floor on Monday to be approved by unanimous consent after the House overwhelmingly voted to advance the measure earlier this month. Approving the funding unanimously would have expedited its passage and allowed lawmakers to skip formal debate.
All Democrat and Republican Senators consented to fast-tracking the bill except Paul. The Kentucky Senator proposed his own version of the bill, which requires that the Iron Dome funding come from $6 billion in proposed assistance to Afghanistan.
“We’re offering to fully fund the billion dollars for the Iron Dome with money that could possibly be used to go to the Taliban. We think that’s the fiscally responsible thing to do,” Paul told POLITICO.
“Only an economically strong United States can be a militarily strong ally of Israel,” Paul said on the floor. “I support Israel; I’ve voted for hundreds of millions of dollars to support Iron Dome. I’m glad the United States has a strong bond with Israel, but the United States cannot give money it does not have no matter how strong our relationship is.”
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