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McConnell On Government Funding And National Security Priorities

Senate Republicans2 MONTHS AGO

Remark | Remarks | THE NEWSROOM | Republican LeaderSkip to primary navigation Skip to content×Close THE NEWSROOMRemarks Press Releases The Leader Board Op-Eds Videos SENATE RESOURCESRepublican Senators Committees Congressional Record Congress.gov Senate Floor Webcast ABOUT LEADER McCONNELL×Close THE NEWSROOMRemarks Press Releases The Leader Board Op-Eds Videos SENATE RESOURCESRepublican Senators Committees Congressional Record Congress.gov Senate Floor Webcast ABOUT LEADER McCONNELLxxsearchxMENUFacebookTwitterInstagramFacebookTwitterInstagramVisit Senator McConnell's site here THE NEWSROOMRemarks Press Releases The Leader Board Op-Eds Videos SENATE RESOURCESRepublican Senators Committees Congressional Record Congress.gov Senate Floor Webcast ABOUT LEADER McCONNELLxxsearchxMENUHomeTHE NEWSROOMRemarks02.29.24McConnell On Government Funding And National Security Priorities‘When America is strongest, Congress provides sufficient funding to preserve America’s military primacy, and our adversaries and allies alike trust that the Commander-in-Chief is prepared to use force decisively.’ WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Senate business:“As I said earlier this week, government shutdowns never produce positive outcomes. That’s why Congress is going to avoid one this week.“Leaders in both parties – and both houses – have agreed to a plan that would keep the lights on while appropriators complete their work and put annual appropriations bills on a glidepath to becoming law.“I appreciate our colleagues’ commitment to see this process through and make good on this essential governing responsibility. And I expect the Senate to act swiftly on a first step this week.“Now, on another matter.“The serious challenges facing America’s national security today illustrate some pretty timeless lessons about how the world works. Basic realities about geopolitics that were true before I got a front-row seat to President Reagan’s foreign policy 40 years ago… and which are just as true today.“The first lesson is the value of alliances. America is the world’s pre-eminent superpower – economically and militarily. But our influence and prosperity are facilitated by a network of partnerships.“I don’t mean the so-called ‘international community’ of multinational debating societies – I mean the hard power of America’s military alliances and partnerships. The strength of these alliances rests on the credibility of the commitments we make to our friends.“The second lesson is peace through strength. Those who wish us harm speak the language of power, and we have to be able to speak it as well. In other words, our deterrent capabilities here have to be as credible to our adversaries as our commitments are to our allies.“Congress’ most fundamental Constitutional obligation is to provide for the common defense. That’s why I urged the Senate so forcefully to pass the national security supplemental, and why I believe passing full-year defense appropriations is absolutely critical.“When America is strongest, Congress provides sufficient funding to preserve America’s military primacy, and our adversaries and allies alike trust that the Commander-in-Chief is prepared to use force decisively. “The last lesson is the importance of clear strategy. Even the most capable force – the most formidable hard power – is only as effective as the strategy it serves. Understanding our interests is a prerequisite to actually advancing our interests.“The challenges we face today test whether and how well America understands these lessons. The threats to our personnel, our interests, and our allies in the Middle East are particularly illustrative.“Since October 7th, America’s closest ally in that region has been engaged in a serious fight to rescue its people and restore its security against Iran-backed terror.“As I have said repeatedly since that day, we owe it to Israel – a fellow democracy under assault by savage terrorists – to provide the time, space, and support necessary for them to destroy the threat posed by Hamas.“To prioritize a cease-fire at all costs is to actually ignore that the terrorists exploited precisely such a cease-fire to slaughter innocent Israelis on October 7th. “To blame Israel for conducting operations to free hostages and kill terrorists in hospitals and schools is to excuse Hamas for violating laws of war and exploiting civilians by militarizing such civilian infrastructure in the first place.“As negotiators work on further hostage releases, it’s critical that Israel operates from a position of strength, backed by a rock-solid ally whose policies are driven by our nation’s interests, not influenced by one party’s perceived political interests.“I hope that President Biden will demonstrate enough political courage to stand up to those in his party who want him to tie Israel’s hands or to put his own hands on the scales of Israel’s domestic politics.“Meanwhile, the chief architect of chaos in the Middle East – the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism – speaks the language of power. Plain and simple. America has to invest in rebuilding our arsenal, but we also have to show Iran that we’re not afraid to actually use it.“Flattening a few warehouses in response to hundreds of Iran-backed attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria is not a meaningful exercise of strength. Nor is wasting expensive precision weapons to intercept expendable drones launched by Iran’s expendable proxies.“The commander of a U.S. task force contending with Houthi terrorism in the Red Sea acknowledged recently that even though his forces were succeeding tactically, the Houthis and their Iranian patrons were simply not deterred.“Frankly, tactical proficiency in hitting Houthi targets with F-35s and Tomahawk missiles should be a low bar for the world’s most advanced military. It’s also beside the point.“In reality, unless these tactics are nested in an effective strategy to change an adversary’s calculus or sufficiently degrade his ability to threaten our interests, it doesn’t matter how tactically proficient our efforts are.“So this isn’t a matter of dense, academic theories of international relations. The questions we need to ask ourselves are really quite basic:“Are we being reliable allies to our friends?“Do we credibly strike fear into the hearts of our enemies?“Are our tactics aligned with a coherent strategy? “If not, what are we doing here?”###Related Issues: Iran, National Security, Appropriations, IsraelPrintEmailTweetPreviousTHE NEWSROOMSENATE RESOURCESABOUT LEADER McCONNELLFacebookTwitterInstagram