On Thursday, the House passed legislation that would give Israel an extra $1 billion in military aid. The measure passed with an overwhelming majority and now moves to the Senate.
The bill passed 420-9-2, with Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN.), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), André Carson (D-IN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL) voting against it.
Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted “present.”
US lawmakers wanted to assure Israel that the money would be delivered after the funds were stripped from a stopgap funding bill earlier this week. “While this funding would ordinarily be included in a year-end spending package, we are advancing this legislation now to demonstrate Congress’ bipartisan commitment to Israel’s security,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who introduced the bill on Wednesday.
Israel requested the additional amount in June, after its bombardment in Gaza in May, which killed over 250 Palestinians, including over 60 children. The aid is being presented as money to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system. But when it was first reported, Israeli officials said they also need the money to purchase munitions, including precision-guided munitions for the air force.
The extra $1 billion is on top of the $3.8 billion Israel gets from the US each year. Out of the $3.8 billion, $500 million is allocated for the Iron Dome and other missile defense systems. The Iron Dome is a joint project between the Israeli defense firm Rafael and the US firm Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.