Senate Republicans on Thursday expressed their frustrations with Sen. Rand Paul over his refusal to fast-track a bill that would fund supplies for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Politico reports.
The Kentucky Republican delayed a vote on the bill, which would send $1 billion to Israel, after he refused to “hotline” the legislation, which had been passed by the House of Representatives a week earlier. He was the only senator to do so.
“If he won’t lift his hold, we need to just use the legislative process. There’s probably 90-plus votes for this,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Politico.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the delay makes it harder for him to push for military aid for Israel if members of the GOP are objecting.
“This would be one thing that I can’t imagine any member creating a problem,” he said, referring to the Iron Dome system.
Paul told Politico that while he supports the Iron Dome, he has concerns about the cost of the bill, and wants to offset that cost with funds that were allocated for Afghanistan.
“Since the Democrats object to it being paid for, they’ve created an impasse,” the senator said, adding that all 50 Republican senators agreed to his proposal. However, Democrats note that all of their 50 senators support moving forward with the bill as-is.
“There’s a lot of incompetence around here in terms of being able to move things through,” said Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.
“It’s actually stunning to see that an issue that enjoys such huge bipartisan support can get scuttled by so few people,” he continued. “And so, I don’t know — there are people around here that are deeply, deeply dug in on the wrong side of that issue.”
Paul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Conservative Digest.