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Ahead of government funding deadline, House members push for Iron Dome supplement

106 House members urged Appropriations Committee leaders to ensure that the Iron Dome supplement is included in the final defense funding package

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In the background the Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, and on foreground tens of other intercepts rockets (RR) fired by the Hamas while the Iron Dome is busy with the first rockets, as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 16, 2021.

With the next government funding deadline weeks away, 106 House members from both parties are pushing to ensure that supplemental Iron Dome funding is included in any final spending package.

The lawmakers penned a letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, to Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) urging them to ensure that the $1 billion Iron Dome supplement — which the Senate has proposed including in the 2022 defense appropriations bill — remains in the final bill negotiated by the House and Senate. The letter comes amid difficulties passing the supplement as a standalone bill.

“We strongly support providing the full $1 billion for the Iron Dome replenishment,” the letter, organized by Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), reads. “We hope that as you negotiate with the Senate on FY2022 appropriations, the $1 billion in supplemental funding that the Senate included is maintained.”

The letter also requests that language be added “to ensure U.S. co-production is employed to the maximum extent practicable.” The Iron Dome missile-defense system is jointly produced by the U.S. and Israel, and similar language is included in the defense funding bill relating to the $500 million in missile-defense aid set to be provided to Israel in 2022.

Senate Democrats have said they hope to pass the Iron Dome aid as standalone legislation, but are being blocked by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Following Paul’s most recent effort — in December 2021 — to block the funding measure, a Senate source told JI that “the next chance to fix this will probably be the omnibus in February.” One senior government official told JI recently that the plan to include Iron Dome in the omnibus bill “puts a lot of faith in Congress’s ability to pass an omnibus.” 

Congress will have until Feb. 18 to finalize 2022 government funding bills when it returns from recess at the end of January. At least one House Democrat, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has told JI he will not vote for another stopgap funding bill unless the Iron Dome aid is included.