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GOP Sources: In Reversal, House Will Vote on Iron Dome Funding on Friday

Aug. 1, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
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 25. (Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON — In a complete reversal, the US House will 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, senior GOP aides say.

“The Iron Dome legislation will be voted on under suspension of the rules later today, so no rule necessary,” a House Rules Committee aide said Friday afternoon.

A senior GOP leadership aide echoed that, saying: “House will vote on it. Suspension likely.”

The move became possible after the Senate — about 14 hours after killing the funding several times during dramatic moments on the floor Thursday evening — 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 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,” the GOP leadership aide said on Friday.

As of this writing, the chamber’s GOP leaders were still searching for ample Republican votes to pass a $659 million border-crisis supplemental. They scheduled a Rules Committee meeting on that bill for 3:15 p.m., a signal they have enough votes or are nearing their targeted number. That means floor votes are nearing, including on Iron Dome.

Support for Israel is widespread in both chambers, meaning the Iron Dome funding is expected to pass. It would then head to President Barack Obama’s desk; the White House has endorsed the 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 such as Raytheon or Boeing to eventually begin co-production of the system. ■


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