The US Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee just approved the transfer of $351 million to Israel for the Iron Dome missile defense system — that will bring the appropriations this week for Israel to $621 million. There has been virtually no debate about such huge payments to another nation’s defense budget when cities and schools continue to cut back on programs for lack of fund. In Fairfax county, our kids are being placed in classes of over 30 kids with a single teacher because there is no money to hire more staff. Congress has cut historic programs and environmental projects for lack of a few million dollars but approves these transfers with little debate. It is not just Israel, as we have previously discussed, but the continuation of huge expenditures abroad in various countries from Pakistan to Iraq to Afghanistan to Egypt. It is not necessarily the ultimate appropriation decision as much as the lack of any discussion on such budgetary priorities and policies that is so striking.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, chairman of the subcommittee, pushed through the increase which will include funding Israel’s R & D work on a new generation of rocket.
In a relative blink, the move doubled the money going to the missile defense system protecting Israel. We previously discussed the lack of debate on the spending of billions to various countries given our worsening educational, environmental, and scientific programs. In one past case, Congress spent $100 million to build a new office facility for Israel and has continued to send billions to Iraq and Afghanistan even in the face of massive corruption and the disappearance of billions in aid.