Yesterday the United States Senate attempted to pass an emergency aid bill to help Israel in their war with Hamas. However, the aid package died on the Senate floor, as Republicans blocked the proposal over concerns that it would increase the debt.
The bill had$225 million, that would have gone to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and $615 million to fight Western wildfires. The money to Israel was part of a bigger $2.7 billion boarder aid package. The Republican’s were against the $2.7 billion bill due to budget concerns.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made an to split off the Israel and wildfire money as a standalone bill, hoping to put aside the dispute over border funding and appeal to Republicans’ deep ties to Israel.
The new bill would have been far more cost effective. However, again he could not convince enough Republican senators to get the six votes needed to pass the bill.
“We’ve all watched as the tiny state of Israel, who is with us on everything, they have had in the last three weeks 3,000 rockets fired into their country,” pleaded Reid. He made no mention of the thousands of tons of high explosives that the Israel Defence Forces have fired into the Gaza Strip and which have killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including many women and children, and wounded thousands more.
Not all Republican’s were against Reid’s plan.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was quoted as saying: “It’s an important moment for the Senate and the House to show support for Israel. All I can say that if you don’t see the need to come to Israel’s aid now, and the message that it would send now, it would be a big mistake.
“Any person who thinks that the Iron Dome is unnecessary needs to go to the floor and tell us why, why we don’t need to help Israel right now. They’re asking for our help, they’re our best friend in the region, one of our best friends in the world.”
At the end of the day the Republican leaders who had recently promised to pass a bill directing further aid to Israel did not support either Reid’s first bill or his attempt at compromise bills. So when it came down to getting enough support to pass and it died on the floor.
Reid’s request was rejected, on the grounds that it would increase the national debt.