Washington D.C. – Just before breaking for a five week recess the United States Congress voted on Friday to send Israel an “emergency aid package.”
President Barack Obama had asked Congress for the aid package for Israel and he will sign the bill into law today.
Both the Senate and the House passed the aid package pegged at $225 million that went to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. As has been the case for most bills in Congress the passage for the legislation did not come easy.
In the House there were a number of early morning battles over how to pay for the aid package. There were attempts to tie other non related subsidies to the bill. However, with the clock ticking cooler heads prevailed and the aid bill passed by an impressive 395-6 vote.
Meanwhile, after some major battling of Thursday afternoon in the Senate things went smoothly on Friday morning. Senate opened up for its last session until September, and unanimously approved the Israeli aid, a rare moment of bipartisan agreement after a nasty Thursday derailed attempts to aid Israel, provide new funding for the migrant influx at the southern border and confirm a raft of nominees to global hotspots.
“This is a good example of us being able to put aside partisan considerations and work together to help our good friend, Israel,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who first proposed splitting off the Israeli aid from a failed larger package that also included money for the border and to fight wildfires.
“I will stand by Israel for a lot of personal reasons but certainly for political reasons. And I have no hesitation in declaring to the world that’s how I feel,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
It was a very rare day of bi-partisanship before the Congress headed home for a five week vacation. Hopefully, when they return there can more moments like today.