Republican Rand Paul on Monday blocked the U.S. Senate from fast-tracking $1 billion in funding to replenish Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.
The resolution was introduced on the Senate floor by Democrat Bob Menendez but Paul objected by suggesting his own version of the bill, which would require the Iron Dome funding to come from the $6 billion in the proposed U.S. assistance to Afghanistan.
Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, rejected Paul's proposal which consequently put the Senate at a standstill on the issue but the bill is still certain to pass.
Earlier this month, U.S. lawmakers green-lit the legislation of $1 billion to resupply the Iron Dome and unanimous approval of the bill would have fast-tracked its passage.
"I support Israel; I've voted for hundreds of millions of dollars to support Iron Dome. I'm glad the United States has a strong bond with Israel, but the United States cannot give money it does not have no matter how strong our relationship is," Paul said.
Although the bill is still certain to pass, it now requires a more formal floor vote. Once the bill is approved by the Senate, it will be brought to U.S. President Joe Biden who has already expressed his approval of the funding.
Menendez addressed the Senate following his proposal, “this is a defensive life safety system built on years of cooperation with our ally Israel. I’m disappointed we’re in this situation."
The prolific Iron Dome system intercepted thousands of short-range rockets and shells launched by the Gaza-based terror outfit Hamas targeting populated areas during Israel's last round of fighting with the terrorist group in May.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.