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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Apologizes for Vote on Iron Dome Funding

  • September 25, 2021

“Yes, I wept,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told her constituents on Friday. “I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”

The dispute began this week, after progressives revolted at the inclusion of the Iron Dome funding in an emergency spending bill, effectively threatening to shut down the government rather than support the money. Democratic leaders were forced to strip it out of that bill, which passed the House on Tuesday, and arranged a separate vote to approve the Iron Dome money.

Some progressive lawmakers grew furious with Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, who pushed for the swift vote on Iron Dome funding. His maneuver appeared to be intended to calm Israeli officials, who had watched the dispute with alarm.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister, called Mr. Hoyer and emphasized the need for the House to approve the request as soon as possible, according to an account of the call released by Mr. Lapid’s office. Mr. Hoyer assured him that the decision to drop it from the government spending measure had been no more than a “technical delay,” the account said. Hours later, Mr. Hoyer announced that the House would hold a separate vote to approve the funding later in the week.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she had personally appealed to Mr. Hoyer to delay the vote.

“Even the night before, as it became clear that the discourse around this issue was quickly devolving from substance to hateful targeting, I personally had a call with the House majority leader to request a 24-hour stay of the vote, so that we could do the work necessary to bring down the temperature and volatility, explain our positions and engage our communities,” she wrote. “That request was summarily dismissed.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Hoyer said his office does not comment on private member conversations.

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