“Too many of my colleagues would like to collapse these packages because they would like to use Israel as a political fig leaf for the President’s Ukraine policy.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, Senate Democrats rejected an effort led by Senators JD Vance (R-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Rick Scott (R-FL) to provide $14.3 billion of aid to Israel. The Senators’ unanimous consent request would have advanced the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act to President Biden’s desk. The legislation, which would provide much-needed aid to Israel, passed the House with bipartisan support last week.
Senator Vance issued the following remarks:
Senator Vance: “Many of my colleagues may forget that a matter of weeks ago, a matter of months ago, there were people in this chamber, there were people in the United States of America, demanding that the State of Israel give money and weapons to the Ukrainians, money and weapons that the Israelis are now using this very moment to defend themselves.
“The idea that these policies are not in tension with one another, the idea that what happens in Russia and Ukraine is separate from what happens in Israel is not just obvious, it is common sense, and it has been borne out by the reality of the last couple of weeks. Now, my colleagues would like to collapse these packages. Too many of my colleagues would like to collapse these packages because they would like to use Israel as a political fig leaf for the President’s Ukraine policy.
“But the President’s Ukraine policy, just like the Israeli policy, should be debated. We should talk about it. We should discuss it. We should separate the costs and benefits and analyze them as distinct policies, because that is what the American people deserve of their legislature. Now, there are many questions we could ask about the Ukraine policy, many issues that have gone completely unanswered.
“Number one, what is our end goal in Ukraine? You hear commonly that the goal is to throw the Russians out of every ounce of Ukrainian territory, and yet when you talk to the President’s own administration in private, they admit that there is that is a strategic impossibility. Let me repeat that. No rational human being in the President’s administration believes that it is possible to throw the Russians out of every inch of Ukrainian territory.
“So why is that the public justification offered by many advocates of indefinite, unlimited Ukrainian aid? Because this debate is fundamentally dishonest. We are not telling the American people the truth because we know that if we did tell them the truth, they would not support an indefinite flow of money to Ukraine. What are we doing, ladies and gentlemen? How long is this supposed to go on?
“How much money are we expected to spend? What is the strategic objective? What are we trying to do? Are we monitoring the fact that we have spent nearly $200 billion, if the supplemental package passes, $200 billion to one of the most corrupt countries in the world? Do we have proper assurances that all that money is being spent on the things that we tell ourselves that it’s being spent on?
“The answer, of course, is no, because we have not had a real debate in this chamber. The American people, I think, should be ashamed of us for that fact. Let me offer just one final observation here. You’ve heard in this chamber, you’ve heard even today that the Ukraine policy was born of a spirit of bipartisan agreement, that we had this moment where Democrats and Republicans recognized that it was very, very important to help the Ukrainians push back against the Russian attack.
“And of course, we support and praise our Ukrainian friends. They’ve done a lot more than many people gave them credit for. But let’s also be honest that for 30 years, Washington, D.C. has run on bipartisan foreign policy wisdom, and it has run this country to the ground. With $1.7 trillion deficits, war after war after war that has killed thousands of Americans, millions of other people, and has not led to the strategic strength of this country. It was great bipartisan agreement after September the 11th that threw Saddam out of Iraq, and of course, a lot of people celebrated it until we now realize that Iraq is a client state of Iran. We empowered one of the worst regimes in the world with our bipartisan wisdom.
“Maybe what we should have is some bipartisan wisdom that the foreign policy consensus of this country for the last three decades has been a disaster. It’s been a disaster for this country. It’s been a disaster for our dead Marines, Army soldiers, Navy sailors and Air Force airmen. It has been a disaster for this country’s finances and it has been a disaster for the entire world.
“Let’s have a real debate. We haven’t had one in 30 years.”