ICYMI: Senator Marshall Hosts Press Conference On Standalone Funding For Israel
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. hosted a press conference following his second attempt to pass the standalone Israel aid package with unanimous consent on the Senate Floor. Seven Senate Democrats blocked his measure. Senator Marshall was joined by Senators Vance (R-OH), Lee (R-UT), Lummis (R-WY), Blackburn (R-TN), and Schmitt (R-MO).
You may click HERE or on the image above to listen to Senator Marshall’s full remarks.
Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS):
“I do want to sincerely thank all my colleagues for joining me today, and I’m honored to be in the foxhole with you all.”
“Time is of the essence, time is of the essence. Right now, there’s a powder keg in Israel that’s going on… And that’s why we need to send a loud and clear message to Hamas, to Iran, to all their proxies that we do not tolerate terrorists. We do not tolerate crimes against humanity.”
“This is now the second hour I spent on the floor debating my friends from across the aisle.They spend three fourths of their time telling us why we should fund Ukraine… No one will stand up and say we should not fund Israel now. No one has an argument for that. They seem to be allergic to the word Israel. They seem to be afraid to use the word Israel, that something is inhibiting them from talking about the situation there nearly as much as they do about Ukraine.”
Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH):
“A tremendous amount of credit goes to Senator Roger Marshall, who at this very moment is down on the Senate Floor actually fighting to get the Israeli aid package through today. I don’t think there’s any person in the Senate who deserves more credit than Senator Marshall for leading this charge, and for actually ensuring that we have a proper debate.”
“But what they never, meaning the Democrats, never effectively argue is why these have to be collapsed together. And if you look at the requests that the President sent over, it is like a smorgasbord of ridiculous democratic priorities. It’s a few billion dollars to resettle refugees and migrants in the United States of America as if we haven’t already resettled plenty of migrants in this country over the last couple of years. It’s aid to Israel, but it’s also aid to Gaza, which we know because the governance structure in Gaza, that a lot of that aid will ultimately flow to Hamas. And then there is other stuff in East Asia, and then there’s stuff in Ukraine. You look at this and you wonder, why can’t we as a body, why can’t the American people actually debate these priorities separately?”
Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY):
“First of all, the atrocities in Israel are unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. When you actually see footage of things like beheadings, women being raped until their pelvises are broken, children being put in ovens and burned to death while their parents are listening and the mother is being raped at the time. These are so barbaric, barbaric. Israel needs our undivided, complete attention.”
“So the pinpointing of our efforts to help Israel needs to be targeted on Israel alone. And quite frankly, our efforts to help in Ukraine need to be focused on exactly what Ukraine needs and not conflated with what Israel needs. The timing is different. The needs are different. The approach should be different. The debate should be different.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT):
“We should never lose sight of what started it. The absolute savagery that we saw on display starting on October 7, can’t be overlooked. This is an effort by Israel to root out Hamas, to make sure that Israelis can live in peace and free from that kind of savagery. That’s all they’re after. They just want to be able to defend themselves.
“For that and other reasons there is widespread bipartisan, bicameral support for this, as Senator Vance just noted, they passed this overwhelmingly in the House.”
It would pass overwhelmingly [in the Senate], and it’d be on President Biden’s desk before sundown. That’s the way it ought to work, especially while they’re in the middle of a pretty important fight. A fight that I should add is not only in Israel’s interest, but also I think helps foster U.S. interest.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN):
“You know, you are known more about what you do than what you say. And we need to remember that as we talk about funding for Israel. The actions that we take are going to be important not only to the Israeli people but also to the region and for the message that it sends to our allies and our adversaries.”
“And this is one of the things that we hear about the funding for Israel, for Ukraine, as my colleagues have said, these are different issues dealing with the Indo Pacific a different issue, securing our border, a different issue. Are they related? Absolutely. But are they the same? should they all be put together? Absolutely not. And it is important that we move forward. Now, as Senator Lee said, we could take this vote today. So far, we have not been to the floor today. We might go to the floor for a vote today. We might. But the point is, we could take this vote on Israel funding because there’s broad bipartisan support on moving this funding forward. So let’s put it on the floor. Let’s call the vote. Let’s send the right message to our allies that yes, we stand with our allies and to our enemies that we will not forget Israel and to all of those that are here today for the rally for Israel.”
Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO):
“Each one of these requests that have been put into one bill represent a different set of circumstances on the ground, different realities, different political support, different likelihoods of success, different strategies, and as it relates specifically to Israel we know what those are. There is broad support for. In fact, today, we could get this done if the Democrats weren’t objecting to this. And I think it does a great disservice to one of our great allies that this funding, which by the way is paid for, which I certainly appreciate, we can debate on how you want to do that.
But we’d be able to do it if the Democrats weren’t holding it up today, and why are they holding up today? Because they are making an argument for Ukraine over and over and over, and my point of view is let’s vote on all this stuff separately. Let the chips fall where they may.”