House lawmakers want to give Israel additional $2B for Iron Dome
There’s a bipartisan proposal in the House to give Israel an extra 2 billion dollars for its Iron Dome defense system. The bill is co-sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith, who also wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to use all available resources to evacuate Americans from Israel. We spoke with Smith about the Iron Dome funding bill and his letter to President Biden. He strongly criticized the Biden administration’s handling of Iran, which he said is the grand puppeteer of the Hamas attack.
Rep. Chris Smith
But our Commander in Chief has been, I think, terrible in his in his vision. He’s embraced Iran as if somehow you can work with them. They are committed. I mean, they put on their missiles when they’re testing of their ballistic missiles, Death to Israel, Death to America. Why don’t we believe it and don’t enable if they need regime change? And many times when there’s been attempts to do it locally, we weren’t supporting those brave Iranians who are trying to get a more democratic and open society there.
you’re calling on President Biden to use any means necessary to get Americans out of Israel. What are the resources that should be used for that? Should there be evacuation flights?
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
There should be evacuation flights. I think there needs to be a very aggressive accounting of where the Americans are, who wants to leave, more people needed to be deployed, there is a hotline number. It’s based here in the United States, but it is a hotline number. They have to make sure that’s adequately staffed so that you can work these individuals so that they can get on a flight.
And I didn’t hear anything from the President about an evacuation plan, which I think there needs to be we’ve had about 200 calls to my office 200. And it’s going up by the minute of people who have loved ones there have kids who are there young adults who are there who want to get out. Now, some want to stay, I ran into a number of of Israeli non Israelis, Americans who are Jewish, who want to go there and fight in my district, you know, they’re very brave and very courageous. They want to go and defend Israel from this horrible attack by Hamas.
You just became an original co-sponsor on a bill that was proposed today to give $2 billion in fiscal year 2024 for Israel’s Iron Dome. Yes. Can that be done without a speaker? And if not, should it?
Rep. Chris Smith
Well, well, we’ll have a speaker very quickly, and it’s good news. There’s a sufficient draw down authority right now that the Pentagon has to get all of the Iron Dome weaponry there to protect against these incoming missiles. But we need to make this sustainable, we need to significantly increase the 3.3 billion that we give to two plus more money for Iron Dome, to Israel. So you know, if 2 billion is the right amount we think it might be, we just need to do it immediately. And make sure it’s deployed as ASAP. Because if anything, the Hamas is testing to see how many weapons or missiles can penetrate Golden Dome, you can only stop so many. And if Hezbollah with its 150,000 missiles all given to them by a Ron, again, the grand puppeteer of this terrible, terrible carnage. That’s a lot of missiles to intercept in flight.
your Iron Dome proposal for the $2 billion is bipartisan.
Yes. So as it should be.
So is Ukrainian, do you think those should or will be paired together?
I think they both should go forward, whether they’re paired or not. That’s, you know, it’s above my paygrade. I think we need to Israel absolutely needs this right now. And the prediction is that they can act knowing that it’s coming. You know, we don’t want to find out that all of a sudden, they’re short. So I do think, you know, we will be responsive.
And then final question, though, you’ve criticized the administration here. Their official stance right now is that Iran has been complicit with this attack, but they have not seen evidence that they knew about it or help plan it. So then, at a minimum, what should the punishment be for the complicity?
it’s more than complicity. And again, none of this happens without Iran. The vessels all come from there the wherewithal, the capability to wage Terrorism comes from Iran. So you don’t think they’re going to be up to their gills involved with the planning of this very sophisticated blitzkrieg attack on the innocent people of Israel,