Ocasio-Cortez Explains Her Tears, Vote On Iron Dome Funding

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained her opposition to a bill that provided $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in a note posted on Twitter.

“For far too long, the U.S. has handed unconditional aid to the Israeli government while doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights abuses against the Palestinian people,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. She was one of two Democrats, along with Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson, to vote present on the funding bill, which passed the House Thursday in a 420-9 vote. Eight Democrats and one Republican voted against funding the Iron Dome. (RELATED: Democrat, Republicans Accuse Rashida Tlaib Of Anti-Semitism As Iron Dome Debate Devolves Into Shouting Match)

Earlier in the week, left-wing members of the Democratic caucus waged a successful bid to remove the Iron Dome provision from a government funding package. In her letter, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that introducing the Iron Dome aid through a government funding package was “deeply unjust,” due to a lack of “committee debate, markup, or regular order.”

The decision to pass the Iron Dome aid “within a matter of hours and without true debate created a tinderbox of vitriol, disingenuous framing, deeply racist accusations and depictions, and lack of substantive discussions on this matter,” she wrote. Ocasio-Cortez has previously accused her political opponents of racism during debates over Israel and anti-Semitism.

Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she personally requested that House Majority Steny Hoyer delay the vote, but he declined to do so.

Following her present vote, which she changed from a no vote, Ocasio-Cortez was seen crying on the House floor.

“Yes, I wept,” she wrote. “I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience. And I wept at the complete lack of regard I often feel our party has to its most vulnerable and endangered members and communities.”

The Iron Dome is a defensive system that intercepts rockets fired by terrorist organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad before they can harm Israelis. It was developed by an Israeli defense contractor with U.S. funding, and was first deployed in 2011.

The Zionist Organization of America called for several House Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, to be stripped of their committee seats following the vote.