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House Leaders Searching for Way to Vote on Iron Dome Funding on Friday

Aug. 1, 2014 - 03:40PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
A picture taken from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows the trail of a missile launched by Israel's Iron Dome defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, as it intercepts and destroys a rocket launched from Gaza into Israel, on July 21. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON — In what would be a dramatic reversal, the US House could vote Friday on a measure that would clear the way for Washington to send $225 million to Israel to replenish its Iron Dome missile interceptors.

After killing the funding several times during dramatic moments on the Senate floor Thursday evening, the upper chamber approved it as a stand-alone measure Friday morning.

Neither chamber was supposed to be in town today, but the extra day before a five-week recess period gave the Iron Dome funding, requested by Tel Aviv and the Pentagon, new life for approval before September.

“The House is supportive of this and is currently working on finding an avenue to move forward,” a senior House leadership aide told CongressWatch on Friday.

The chamber’s GOP leaders at publication time were still searching for ample Republican votes to pass a $659 million border-crisis supplemental. They also are searching for the best legislative path for approving the Iron Dome funding.

The Iron Dome system, credited with intercepting hundreds of Hamas rockets in recent weeks, is built by Israeli companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, and many US lawmakers and officials want a US firm like Raytheon or Boeing to eventually begin co-production of the system.

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