GOP senators want more money for Israel
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are pushing for extra money for Israel over lingering concerns about the Iran nuclear deal. 

GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLet's give thanks to Republican defenders of Democracy Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (S.C.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (Ariz.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length MORE (Ill.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (N.H.) Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Rubio signals opposition to Biden Cabinet picks Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (Fla.), Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (Texas), several of whom are up for reelection in November, introduced a $1.5 billion emergency spending bill on Tuedsay.


"The recent nuclear deal has left Iran flush with cash.  It’s important we make clear to the Iranian regime that we continue to stand with our close ally and are committed to Israel’s defense," Graham said in a statement.

Half of the funding, $750 million, would go toward missile defense, with another $750 million set aide for direct assistance to Israel's military.

The U.S. and Israel formally finalized a security agreement last week that includes $38 billion for the Middle Eastern ally over the next decade. As part of the deal, the Israeli government signed a letter agreeing to give back any additional money Congress appropriates.  

But Graham, who has argued that Congress can still appropriate additional funds, said the debate should focus on if Israel needs the money. 
"Nobody respects [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] more than I do, but here's what we cannot allow. We cannot allow the president, the executive branch, to collude with a foreign leader and friend to say that Congress has no say about how to do the business of appropriating," he added to reporters. 
The legislation also includes an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year. 
Both Republicans and Democrats on the Foreign Relations have offered their own versions of an extension of the sanctions, but the talks about how to move forward have largely stalls.