Every New Jersey representative voted today to fund $1 billion towards Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, two days after the funding was removed from a larger spending bill due to progressive opposition. The vote was 420-9, with dissents coming from Republican Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and a smattering of left-wing Democratic representatives.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), a strong supporter of the Iron Dome funding, spoke on the House floor before the vote, saying that he saw firsthand the anti-missile and artillery defense system on a visit to Israel in 2014.
“Thanks to the bill before us, Congress is reaffirming our commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself,” Pascrell said. “Once again: Iron Dome technology keeps people safe and it saves lives.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) similarly took to the floor to support the bill, and was more directly critical of his Democratic colleagues who necessitated today’s separate vote.
“Unfortunately, some of my colleagues recently used support for this defense system as a political football. They threatened to shut down the federal government, put at risk hurricane disaster relief and help for Afghani refugees all because of support of Iron Dome,” Gottheimer said. “We must protect our ally, the only democracy in the Middle East. Our national security is on the line.”
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden), another Democrat who voted for the bill, also implored his colleagues from the House floor to support the funding.
“Protecting civilian lives through an advanced air defense system should be a nonpartisan issue,” he said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this supplemental funding for Iron Dome.”
This story was updated at 5:02 p.m. with remarks from Rep. Josh Gottheimer, and again at 2:30 p.m. on September 24 with remarks from Rep. Donald Norcross.