On Oct. 7, Israel was attacked in cold blood by Hamas terrorists, who intentionally targeted innocent civilians for torture and death. These attacks horrified the free world and shocked the consciences of people of goodwill everywhere.
Thirty Americans lost their lives in the attacks, and an unknown number of other Americans have been taken hostage by Hamas. The United States ought to do everything in its power to rescue those Americans and get them to safety.
I stand ready to do my part to assist Israel in the U.S. Senate. We need to support Israel and supply them with needed resources. But right now, Joe Biden and the Democrats are more interested in exploiting this crisis in Israel for their own purposes, which have nothing to do with killing the terrorists and helping our closest ally.
Over the weekend, Biden sent Congress a request for a supplemental funding bill. This request includes $14 billion for Israel, but it also contains a grab bag of unrelated things that Biden and the Democrats want, plus a few items that they think will win them some Republican votes in the narrowly divided Congress.
I oppose this request. If a bill were written based on what the administration submitted, I would not vote for it. Here’s why.
There is no logical connection between these two conflicts except in the most abstract sense possible. Biden gave a long speech on television attempting to tie them together but without much success. Mitch McConnell says he sees it “all as interconnected.”
I haven’t even been in Washington three years yet, but this is enough to remind me of two years ago when Democrats called everything they liked “infrastructure.” It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Not everything is infrastructure and the war in Ukraine has nothing to do with the war in Israel.
America cannot be the world’s policeman. We cannot get involved in every single conflict around the world. We live in a world of scarcity and tradeoffs. Leadership requires clear priorities.
The U.S. has no strategic interest in the war in Ukraine or in Eastern Europe in general. Meanwhile, Israel is killing terrorists who also want to kill us. The contrast couldn’t be clearer. The U.S. benefits from one and not the other.
Further, the requested $60 billion for Ukraine would be in addition to the more than $100 billion that Congress has already agreed to give them — for everything from Ukraine’s farmers to Ukrainian bureaucrat pensions — at a time when our own farmers are struggling, and too many American pension funds are in trouble. This is a staggering amount of funding, more than Russia’s entire annual defense budget.
Just a month ago Democrats and a few Republicans tried to use a possible government shutdown as leverage to get more funding for Ukraine. Senate Republicans were not fooled — and we succeeded in stripping the funding out and passing a clean temporary funding bill. We shouldn’t be fooled this time either.
Biden’s funding request also includes millions of dollars in humanitarian aid for the Palestinians – in addition to the $100 million he already promised them while in Israel. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, and if Biden thinks that aid to Gaza will not end up in the hands of Hamas terrorists, then he is delusional.
Finally, Biden’s Ukraine aid buyoff includes billions of dollars for our Southern border in an attempt to put pressure on Republicans. Once again, this sounds good, but we need to read the fine print. Zero dollars in the bill would go toward a wall or toward deporting illegal immigrants in this country. Instead, it includes $1.4 billion to resettle illegal immigrants in American cities and even $1.85 billion in cash payments to illegal immigrants. Of course, Biden will call this “border funding” going into an election year. But it is nothing of the sort. In fact, these funds would make our border crisis even worse.
Congress is not going to rubber stamp Biden’s bill — nor should we. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to legislate — not take dictation from the White House.
Rather than throwing a lot of unrelated ideas into one bill, we ought to vote on them separately and let the people work their will through their elected officials.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.