Republicans call for ‘clean’ Iron Dome funding bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lead a group of Republicans on Tuesday in discussing Israel’s security efforts against Hamas.

“Republicans are united in our support of Israel’s defense, and this morning my colleagues will explain our opposition to any effort to force a ceasefire on Israel that does not further its security objectives,” McConnell said. “Israel’s right to defend itself should be affirmed.”

The Pentagon has asked for $225 million in emergency funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Senate Democrats are trying to pass a bill with that funding, but it has been lumped in with border security funding as well.

McConnell has criticized Democrats for not bringing up a “clean” funding bill just for Israel since it has broad bipartisan support.

“Secretary Hagel wrote to the Majority Leader seeking urgent funding for components of the Iron Dome missile defense system,” McConnell said. “I support this request, as Iron Dome has afforded Israel some protection from indiscriminate rockets.”

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined McConnell on the Senate floor Tuesday, saying a bill to help protect Israel would pass in a matter of minutes.

“We don’t need to marry it up with controversial topics,” Graham said. “Pass war appropriations for Iron Dome because it’s the right thing to do.”

The Republicans also blasted the U.N. Human Rights Council for supporting the Palestinian Authority, which has formed a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization.

Israel has come under heavy fire from Hamas rockets and has launched a ground offensive in Gaza to destroy tunnels used by Hamas. 

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