Democrats Scrap $1 Billion In Israeli Defense Funding From Bill That Was Already Doomed To Fail

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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House Democrats will remove a provision replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome defense system from their government funding bill after progressives objected to it, even though the bill has no chance of passing the Senate regardless.

Democrats unveiled the bill earlier Tuesday, and its House Rules Committee markup was delayed after progressives voiced their concerns. Though the House is set to pass the bill later Tuesday, it is considered dead-on-arrival in the Senate, where Republicans are unanimously opposed.

The bill couples government funding through Dec. 3 with a debt ceiling suspension, the source of Republicans’ opposition. They have called on Democrats to put any increase in their $3.5 trillion spending package, but Democrats have so far refused to do so. (RELATED: Congress Barrels Toward Debt Ceiling Catastrophe)

Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of the moderate Democrats against the Iron Dome funding’s removal. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

If passed it would avert a government shutdown set to begin on Oct. 1 and would stave off a possible nationwide debt default. It also contains billions in funding for natural disaster relief efforts and for the resettlement of Afghan refugees.

While progressives praised the Iron Dome funding’s removal, some Democratic moderates were unhappy with it.

“The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it,” New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer said. “We must stand by our historic ally — the only democracy in the Middle East.”

While the provision was ultimately omitted, it is still set to be included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which Democratic leadership has said the House will vote on this week as well.

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