United States lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez yesterday strongly criticized fellow members of Congress for rushing to pass a $1 billion supplemental military funding bill for Israel’s Iron Dome system.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives called to the floor a rushed, $1 billion supplemental military funding bill for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, said the lawmaker in a letter to her constituents in New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Ocasio-Cortez said while she and other progressive Democratic party members of the House of Representatives oppose the substance of the Iron Dome supplemental bill, “the process of bringing it to the House floor was deeply unjust.”
The funding was first introduced in the general budget bill, but after it was clear it was not going to be approved and to avoid a government shutdown, a separate bill on the funding was introduced and rushed for a vote without any discussion, which was the reason why Ocasio-Cortez was upset with the whole process. The bill was eventually passed with only eight Democrats and one Republican of the 435 House members voting against.
“The legislative language itself was initially introduced, earlier this week, by way of an attempt to quietly slip this funding into routine legislation, without any of the usually-necessary committee debate, markup, or regular order. A funding leap this significant in a policy area that is already so charged and fraught for many communities, particularly our own, deserves the respect of a proper legislative process,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“Unfortunately, that process did not happen. And, the reckless decision by House leadership to rush this controversial vote within a matter of hours and without true consideration created a tinderbox of vitriol, disingenuous framing, deeply racist accusations and depictions, and lack of substantive discussion on this matter. I want to be clear that the decision to rush this vote – virtually preventing any member from meaningfully consulting with their community – was both intentional and unnecessary.”
The House lawmaker said she was against the bill because it provides military aid to Israel without addressing its human rights abuses against the Palestinians.
“Since 2011, the US has provided $1.7 billion for the Iron Dome and is already financially committed to continuing these funds through 2028. This bill adds an additional $1 billion in funding in one year to this system alone – for context, that is an amount in one year that approaches all the funding to this system we have provided over the last decade – and this is in addition to $3 billion authorized earlier this year in other forms of military funding to the Israeli government,” she said, adding that “for far too long, the US has handed unconditional aid to the Israeli government while doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, and that this imbalance of power must be centered in any honest conversation about Israel and Palestine.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed hope that the struggle in the United States for human rights, particularly that of the Palestinians, will grow.
“I hope we can take this moment and opportunity to more deeply engage in and grow a true, substantive movement of community support for human rights around the world – which includes cherishing and respecting the human rights of Palestinian people,” she concluded her letter.