McConnell On National Security Supplemental
‘Every one of our colleagues is capable of understanding that security assistance appropriated in support of Ukraine is money invested in America. Every one of our colleagues is capable of understanding that the investments this legislation makes in expanding production capacity - from artillery rounds to rocket motors to submarines - are investments in readiness for long-term competition with China. A competition America cannot afford to lose.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities:
“When the Biden Administration released its request for supplemental appropriations in October, I said the Senate would need to do its own work to meet the demonstrated needs of our national security.
“The President’s decisions over the past three years have directly contributed to the web of serious security challenges demanding the Senate’s attention:
“From an embarrassing retreat from Afghanistan that emboldened terrorists and shredded credibility with our allies…
“To a halting response to Russian escalation that kept lethal capabilities off the front lines of Ukraine’s defense…
“To an Iran policy that tried trading deterrence for détente.
“The Senate can – and will – continue to urge the Commander-in-Chief to do the right thing. But we also have a responsibility of our own to provide for the common defense and equip the next Commander-in-Chief with the tools to exercise American strength.
“That responsibility is in front of us right now. And addressing national security challenges with serious legislation starts with recognizing some pretty basic realities about how the world works:
“First, America has global interests and global responsibilities. And to the extent the President has neglected them, the Senate ignores them at the nation’s peril.
“Second, alliances and partnerships are essential to advancing our interests. They lower the costs of keeping the peace, reduce direct risks to America, and facilitate the commerce that drives our economy. But these alliances and partnerships rely on American leadership and credibility.
“And finally, that there’s a growing list of adversaries who wish us harm… There’s growing evidence that they’re working together… And there’s no doubt that they’re emboldened by American weakness.
“These are not opinions. They’re plainly observable facts, borne out by history.
“Denying them does a disservice to the American people. And it is impossible to engage productively on decisions about U.S. national security without acknowledging them.
“So, a great number of our colleagues have worked diligently on legislation that confronts Russian aggression against the West, Iran-backed terror against Israel and U.S. forces, and the rise of an aggressive China head-on.
“And the product before the Senate resolves the significant shortcomings of the President’s request.
“For example, thanks to Senate Republicans, it requires the Commander-in-Chief to submit a strategy that identifies the specific objectives, requirements, and metrics for our assistance to Ukraine.
“It shifts $4 billion dollars away from direct budget support to Kyiv into security investments, instead. And it fully funds the Special Inspector General for Ukraine created by the NDAA last year, further expanding already unprecedented visibility into how U.S. assistance is being used.
“This legislation also designates $9 billion dollars above the President’s request for U.S. defense needs, including $2.4 billion dollars for ongoing operations against Iran-backed terrorists in the Middle East.
“And thanks to Republican efforts, it imposes strict new oversight measures on humanitarian assistance and ensures that not a single penny of U.S. taxpayer funds goes to the U.N. agency whose employees stoke hatred in Gaza and participated in the slaughter of Jews in Israel.
“Underneath these essential provisions sit historic and urgent investments in American hard power, which is critical to our national defense.
“Our allies and partners in Ukraine and Israel are fighting our shared adversaries, degrading their military capacity and working to restore deterrence. Our friends in the Pacific are working to deter yet another one.
“Together, they’re facing the raw end of authoritarian aggression and terrorist savagery. And our colleagues have heard me say it before – American assistance to their efforts is not charity. It’s an investment in cold, hard U.S. interests.
“This is not a rhetorical device. I’m not referring to some vague lines of efforts from which America expects to receive some trickle-down benefit.
“I mean quite literally spending tens of billions of dollars here in America, upgrading our capabilities, creating American manufacturing jobs, and expanding our defense industrial capacity to help us better compete with advanced adversaries.
“Of just the funds this supplemental designates to support Ukraine’s defense, $19.85 billion of it will be spent here in America on replenishing our own arsenal.
“Another $3.5 billion will be spent – again, here in America – to expand our industrial base’s capacity to produce artillery, air-defense, and long-range weapons.
“And $15.4 billion will be spent – one more time, here in America – on weapons for Ukraine to continue degrading the military strength of a major U.S. adversary.
“These investments create capacity that we, the United States, need for serious competition with our adversaries.
“Of course, this doesn’t even account for the massive streams of funding our allies and partners around the world are investing in American capabilities, themselves. Including more than $120 billion dollars and counting from NATO allies.
“Overall, even accounting for direct assistance sent to allies like Israel, more than 75% of this legislation is bound for investments right here in America. And more than 60% of it goes to the defense industrial base, where increasing capacity is a direct investment in long-term strength abroad and prosperity at home.
“This is about rebuilding the arsenal of democracy and demonstrating to our allies and adversaries alike that we’re serious about exercising American strength.
“I can present these facts as frequently as necessary. It’s what I’ve been doing – quite literally, for years.
“Every one of our colleagues is capable of understanding that security assistance appropriated in support of Ukraine is money invested in America.
“Every one of our colleagues is capable of understanding that the investments this legislation makes in expanding production capacity – from artillery rounds to rocket motors to submarines – are investments in readiness for long-term competition with China.
“A competition America cannot afford to lose.
“Every single one of us knows what’s at stake here. And it’s time for every one of us to deal with it, head-on.”
Related Issues: Russia, Israel, China, Ukraine, America's Military, Iran, National Security