U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) continues to resist Senate plans to combine Ukraine and Israel aid in one spending package slated for a vote next week.
Since the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, members of Congress have been in near lockstep in showing their support for Israel. That stands in sharp contrast to the decision to give more funds to aid Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia. This debate nearly caused a government shutdown last month and still may as Congress’s limited time frame to agree on government spending shrinks.
Tuberville notably criticized the $105 billion national security spending package approved by President Joe Biden, where $61.4 billion was allocated to Ukraine and $14.3 billion to Israel.
On Wednesday, Tuberville doubled down on his refusal to support any additional Ukraine funding, especially when paired with lesser funding for Israel.
For Tuberville and others in Congress, continued funding in Ukraine should take a back seat to securing the U.S. southern border and preventing the influx of drugs and potential terrorist threats.
In a letter sent to Senate Democrats, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said tying border security to foreign aid would “embolden” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Senate plans to vote on the spending package next week.
“The biggest holdup to the national security assistance package right now is the insistence by our Republican colleagues on partisan border policy as a condition for vital Ukraine aid,” Schumer wrote. “This has injected a decades old, hyper-partisan issue into overwhelmingly bipartisan priorities. Democrats stand ready to work on common-sense solutions to address immigration, but purely partisan hard-right demands, like those in [House Resolution] 2, jeopardize the entire national security supplemental package.”
Despite Schumer’s letter, Tuberville insisted on Wednesday that Ukraine had received enough American money, saying, “If Democrats want more foreign aid, they’d better fix the border first.”
“We’ve already given them more than $100 billion,” Tuberville said. “There’s been very little transparency about where all this money has gone. $100 billion is more than enough. We need the money and the weapons here in our country. Democrats want to tie aid to Israel to Ukraine. These two wars have nothing to do with each other. Israel is our formal ally; Ukraine is not. I support the Ukrainian people, but leadership means setting priorities.”
He continued, “What’s our goal? Before we help other countries, we need to help ourselves. So, we’ve got a crisis on our southern border like we’ve never seen in the history of the country. More than 6 million illegal border crossings since Joe Biden took office. One hundred thousand people dying every year from drugs that come from Mexico. More than 300 people on the terror watch list have been caught since Joe Biden took office. It’s frightening to think of how many people we haven’t caught.”
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