In the 48 hours leading up to Israel and the US agreeing on a record $38 billion military aid deal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) began to push hard against it, suggesting Congress could give Israel and even bigger aid package, and telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Obama could “go F himself” if he didn’t like the larger aid.
Israel, ultimately, accepted the Obama deal, and also promised not to seek additional funds from Congress. That doesn’t mean Graham has given up, however, and he’s insisted Congress isn’t bound by this new deal, and free to give Israel all the extra billions they feel like.
Sen. Graham now says he intends to introduce a $1.5 billion additional aid deal for Israel just for this year, suggesting that Congress would be free to keep throwing similar “emergency supplementals” at Israel every year if they want to, and saying he believes there’s a lot of support for it.
Graham also said give Israel more money would be a great way to “send a signal to the ayatollahs” in Iran, and that whenever the Iranian government does something the US doesn’t like they should expect more money to be sent to Israel.
It remains to be seen how much support there is in Congress for this new bill, despite Graham’s confidence, and many of the usual lobbyists for such aid may fear that its passing so soon after the Obama deal would hurt Israel’s credibility, after promising not to lobby for such funds.