The Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act passed in the House with no Republicans supporting it.
House Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning Israel after they opted not to include $1 billion in aid money for the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system in a bill intended to keep the U.S. government running and avoid a debt default. The Republicans had already made it clear they were not going to vote for the legislation even if it did include the aid, however.
The Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which passed in the House on a party-line vote Tuesday, is aimed at keeping the federal government running for the next 10 weeks and suspending the national debt ceiling until December 2022. All 211 Republicans present voted against it.
On Wednesday, the Republicans took to social media to accuse Democrats of betrayal.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, the chair of the House Republican Caucus, tweeted, "House Democrats ABANDONED our ally. I will stand with Israel."
"Two years ago—70 Republicans & Democrats stood at an Iron Dome defense battery in Israel," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "For Repubs, it's a reminder we will always stand with Israel. For Dems, it apparently was nothing more than a photo op. Yesterday, every one of them voted against funding for the Iron Dome."
"House Democrats continue to play politics with our national defense. The CR [continuing resolution] betrays Israel, our strongest partner in the Middle East, by removing funding for the Iron Dome," tweeted Missouri Rep. Vicki Hartzler.
"Stripping our longtime ally, Israel of U.S. support to avert a shutdown and funnel more $$ into a radical agenda is atrocious and unamerican," charged Kansas Rep. Tracy Mann.
An earlier version of the stopgap legislation included $1 billion to restock the Iron Dome system. But not a single Republican was willing to support that version, contrary to McCarthy's claim that they would "always stand with Israel."
Forced to rely on only Democratic members' votes to pass the bill in the closely divided House, Democratic leaders agreed to remove the provisions after some progressive members threatened to oppose the legislation otherwise.
A source told the Times of Israel that some Democrats objected to the funds being included at the last minute in "an unrelated bill to keep the government open, with zero strings attached." Said Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), "It's not about Israel, it's about, once again, leadership, throwing something on our table last minute and expecting us to decide in five minutes what to do with it, that's the bigger problem."
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro said Tuesday that the inclusion of the funds in the bill had been an "anomaly" and that "Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Betty McCollum and I have committed to including additional funding in the final bipartisan and bicameral fiscal year 2022 Defense Appropriations bill."
The stopgap bill now moves to the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised that his caucus will filibuster it to death, with or without the foreign aid funds.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.