McConnell: Biden Administration Needs to Get Serious About Our National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security:

“Energy policy isn’t the only place where the Biden Administration’s decisions are hurting Americans.

“The President’s retreat from Afghanistan continues to have dangerous and disastrous consequences.

“Yesterday, one Pentagon official gave Senators a new estimate of how many Americans the Administration had left behind. The count Secretary Austin claimed last month was less than 100 has now risen to nearly 450.

“The Biden Administration spent weeks insisting they only left about 100 Americans behind in Afghanistan when the truth was multiple times that.

“The Administration has also continued to fail to keep its promises to brave Afghan allies.

“Meanwhile, as many warned, the terrorist threat is growing in the wake of our retreat. The same Pentagon official acknowledged that Afghanistan-based ISIS-K and Al Qaeda terrorists have the intent, and are acquiring the capability, to strike the United States.

“ISIS-K could threaten our homeland in as little as six months. And the Biden Administration still doesn’t have basing or access agreements in neighboring countries for it supposed plan to hit terrorists from ‘over the horizon.’

“No wonder our adversaries are testing this President’s resolve to protect American personnel and American interests.

“A complex attack against U.S. forces in Syria last week may well have been carried out at the behest of Iran. 

“The Administration isn’t saying. They need to come clean about who was responsible and how they intend to respond.

“We know Tehran badly wants the U.S. and its partners out of Syria and Iraq, and to continue to threaten Israel and other U.S. partners.  What we don’t know is what the Biden Administration plans to do about it.

“Even where progress should be easy, this Administration finds ways to mess things up.

“For example, there’s strong bipartisan agreement about the threat the People’s Republic of China poses to international security and specifically to American interests.

“Case in point: Beijing’s recent publicly-reported efforts to test hypersonic weapons and advance their nuclear capabilities. China’s also dramatically expanding the naval capabilities that they openly use to harass other nations.

“Both Republicans and Democrats would welcome a clear and coherent China strategy from this Administration. But all we are getting is a muddled mess.

“A few days ago, no sooner did President Biden offer comments on his own Taiwan policy then White House staff rapidly walked them back.

“Who’s in charge over there? The President or the Press Secretary?

“American Administrations have a tradition of handling Taiwan with something called ‘strategic ambiguity.’ I’m afraid the Biden team is taking that a little too literally. Even they themselves seem to have no idea what they are doing.

“President Biden likes to say something like: ‘Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.’

“But President Biden’s own request for the defense budget didn’t even keep up with President Biden’s inflation.

“This White House proposed to cut defense funding after inflation. 

“And here in the Senate, Democrats’ partisan appropriations process seeks to shortchange defense in favor of runaway domestic spending.

“Even their ostensibly China-focused bill from earlier this year would not have included any funding for the kinds of advanced defense capabilities that we need to keep pace if it weren’t for an amendment offered by Senator Sasse.

“Even the NDAA is stuck in limbo.

“The defense authorization bill is our most basic opportunity to shape security policy. It is a core duty for a Senate majority. The bare minimum.

“But Democrats have completely neglected the NDAA and the traditional, robust, and real floor process that it will need. They’re too busy debating how much socialism to unleash on the country to look out for our troops, our veterans, and our national security.

“This unseriousness will leave Americans less safe.

“It is just that simple.”