Hagerty, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Resupply Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense

October 19, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today introduced the Emergency Resupply for Iron Dome Act of 2023, a bill to require the Executive Branch to transfer the U.S. foreign assistance that the U.S. Department of State plans to send to Hamas-controlled Gaza and redirect it to resupply Israel’s highly-effective missile defense interceptors. Co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Katie Britt (R-AL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Rick Scott (R-FL).

“In the wake of Iran-backed Hamas’s savage attack on Israel in which over 1300 people in Israel were murdered, including 30 Americans, and as Iran-backed Hamas terrorists continue to launch missiles and rockets into Israel, the American people have seen the images of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense systems repeatedly intercepting rockets and saving the lives of countless civilians,” said Senator Hagerty. “My legislation requires the Biden Administration to halt U.S. foreign assistance from going to Hamas terrorist-dominated areas and instead to redirect these resources to help Israel resupply its life-saving Iron Dome interceptors. The United States should unequivocally support the right of Israel to defend itself from terrorists.”

“Now more than ever, the U.S. must stand in support with our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel,” said Senator Rubio. “Instead of providing assistance to Gaza, the Biden Administration must ensure any taxpayer funds are used to support Israel’s Iron Dome to defend its citizens from the savagery of Iran-backed Hamas.”

“Israel is taking action right now to defend itself and its people. America cannot let Israel stand alone,” said Senator Barrasso. “The United States must ensure Israel has the weapons and the military assistance needed to fight any and all terrorist threats. The Iron Dome is the first line of defense for Israel. It is critical to replenish this vital missile defense system so it can remain effective and operational.” 

“The Iron Dome is of critical importance for Israel as it defends innocent civilians against the barbaric brutality of Hamas’ terrorist attacks and lives with the reality of additional threats every day,” said Senator Britt. “The United States stands strongly with Israel—our great ally, friend, and partner.”

“In the face of such unspeakable attacks, we have a moral obligation to ensure Israel, one of our strongest allies, has the ability to properly defend its people,” said Senator Lummis. “Now more than ever, it’s critical we help fortify the cornerstone of Israel‘s defense system to make sure Israel can defend itself from terrorists.”

“The Biden Administration insists on sending foreign assistance to Gaza, while Hamas steals it to fund weapons to kill Israelis and Americans,” said Senator Hawley. “Congress must act to redirect these funds to Israel to help restock their critical missile defense systems.”

“Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself against unconscionable assaults from groups like Hamas and Hezbollah,” said Senator Fischer. “Our bill would reallocate aid funding that could have ended up in Hamas’s pockets to Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system — the backbone of its missile defense architecture. The United States will stand by our ally.” 

“The Hamas and Iran-orchestrated terror attacks we have seen in Israel are pure evil,” said Senator Tuberville. “Israel must wipe Hamas from the face of the earth and ensure that this never happens again. As Israel continues to fight and kill terrorists, the United States has a strategic interest in supporting Israel and supplying Israel. We should immediately stop all foreign assistance to Hamas-controlled Gaza and redirect those funds to the Iron Dome, which has saved countless Israeli civilian lives.”

“Israel must have every tool to defeat the Iran-backed Hamas terrorists that brought the sickening attack against thousands of innocent people, including 31 Americans,” said Senator Scott. “Instead of sending millions of dollars in ‘aid’ to foreign countries that will end up in the arms of terrorists, this administration has an opportunity to support Israel with whatever they need, including their Iron Dome to defend themselves and destroy Hamas. I thank my colleagues for supporting this critical legislation and for standing in solidarity with the Israeli people as they bravely defend their homeland.”

“The Iron Dome system has proven time and again to be one of Israel’s most important air defense capabilities,” said Senator Wicker. “The United States should support replenishing Iron Dome and expanding our domestic industrial base to accelerate production.”

Hagerty first introduced the Emergency Resupply for Iron Dome Act of 2021 in the 117th Congress.

Full text of the Emergency Resupply for Iron Dome Act can be found here.