Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike MORE (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 GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products MORE (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (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.