Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked a fourth consecutive request by Democrats Wednesday to pass legislation granting $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
As he has argued the previous time he blocked the unanimous consent measure in the past two months, Paul insisted that the funding come out of the $6 billion in proposed US assistance to Afghanistan.
Democrats came under fire from pro-Israel groups in early October after House leadership briefly delayed a vote on the bill amid opposition from a handful of progressive members. However, the funding went on to pass overwhelmingly 420-9-2, moving to the Senate, where it has since been held up by Paul.
The Iron Dome funding bill is still certain to pass, but it will likely require a floor vote, as it did in the House. A Senate source told Jewish Insider that may have to wait until February, when the legislation can be added to the omnibus spending package.
Once the bill is approved by the Senate, it will be brought to US President Joe Biden for his signature. The president has already vowed to approve the funding.
Israel made a request for the extra funds after the Iron Dome worked on overdrive during May’s Gaza war, when Hamas fired some 4,400 rockets at Israeli towns, according to the IDF.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.