DeLauro Floor Remarks on Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 5323, the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $1 billion in funding for Iron Dome, Israel’s short-range missile defense system.
In May, during the latest period of increased violence between Israel and Hamas, more than 4,000 rockets were launched from Gaza. Using radar technology and missiles to track and destroy incoming rockets, the Iron Dome intercepted over 90 percent of the rockets that would have landed in civilian-populated areas. This system, with help from Congress’ funding, saved thousands of lives in that month alone.
Under the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel, the United States is committed to replenishing the Iron Dome so Israel can continue to defend itself from attack and protect its citizens.
With the funding in this bill, the Iron Dome will continue to protect millions of civilians. Let me repeat: This funding, as the bill language clearly states, is limited to a system that is entirely defensive. And there is no greater demonstration of the defensive nature of this system than the videos showing the Iron Dome’s interception capacity.
Mr. Speaker, the United States has long been committed to the objective of a two-state-solution: Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side in a lasting peace.
The legislation before us ensures that Israel can fully defend all its citizens, a necessary condition for lasting peace.
In our State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill, passed by the House over the summer, we provided funding to help meet the humanitarian and development needs of the Palestinian people, another requirement for lasting peace.
Peace must always be our mission: it will allow Israelis and Palestinians to reconcile their differences and heal their many wounds. But only through peace can this reconciliation and healing even begin to be achieved.
Mr. Speaker, this bill demonstrates that Congress’ commitment to our friend and ally Israel is bipartisan and ironclad. It fulfills our moral imperative to protect the lives of innocent civilians and helps build the foundations for peace. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.