WASHINGTON – Democratic leadership will bring to the House floor a stand-alone vote on $1 billion in emergency funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Tuesday, following uproar over its removal from a key budget bill.
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Hoyer's move, after progressive Democrats successfully managed to remove the aid from a stopgap government funding bill, comes under suspension of rules, meaning the House will go against normal parliamentary protocol to bring the bill to a vote later this week.
Hoyer said he expected it to pass. "We ought to do it ... it is absolutely essential," he said.
Israel receives $3.8 billion in U.S. military aid annually, $500 million of which dedicated to funding Iron Dome. The $1 billion in question is in addition to the already committed funds.
Pro-Israel Democrats including Reps. Kathy Manning, Elaine Luria, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Brad Schneider, Dean Phillips and Josh Gottheimer pressured Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ensure the additional funding be expedited after Democratic leadership tried reaching a compromise with the party's progressive wing by moving the aid to the 2022 Defense Appropriations bill.
“Upon my urging, House leadership has committed to bringing a standalone bill to the floor this week to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system. We will pass this bill with the support of the majority of my colleagues and reiterate our ironclad support for our ally, Israel,” Manning said.
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The bill must be approved by two thirds of the members present, or earn a unanimous oral approval. No progressive lawmaker has yet announced their opposition to Iron Dome funding, and the opposition to its inclusion in the funding bill was strictly related to process. A need for a transparent legislative process surrounding such vast additional military aid was the main reasoning for the maneuver.
Once it passes the House, the bill will then move to the Senate. Hoyer had spoken earlier with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, reiterating the U.S. commitment to sending the aid and that the holdup was related to a technicality. However, this was still considered a political win for the progressive caucus.
In May, following the most recent escalation between Israel and Gaza, the Biden administration publicly committed to providing Israel with $1 billion in aid.