HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Il.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spent time on the Senate floor today urging his colleagues to pass President Biden’s $106 billion request for national security supplemental funding. This includes emergency funds for Ukraine and Israel, as well as humanitarian crises.
In his speech, Durbin praised the President’s remarks on the funding request, in which he said that the United States not only has the financial ability to provide financial assistance, but also the moral responsibility to support democracies fighting tyranny worldwide.
“Right now, the global community faces profound challenges—the outcomes of which will reverberate to every corner of the world for decades to come,” says Durbin. “As a global superpower, America has a central role to play in defending freedom. It is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.”
In a committee hearing last week, Senator Durbin questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the request, emphasizing how crucial financial support to Ukraine is for the NATO alliance. In this discussion, Secretary Blinken noted Russian president Putin’s efforts to distract the U.S. from the war in Ukraine by meeting with Hamas leadership.
“Secretary Blinken added that such assistance is critical in thwarting not just Putin, but aggressors around the world who are watching and gauging our sustained commitment,” says Durbin. “I agree completely. Looking at the world today, I do not believe it is a stretch to say freedom is currently under siege and fighting for its future. Right now, several democracies across the globe are fighting against tyrannical powers—in some cases, autocratic governments; in others, terrorist organizations—that seek to undermine the global order. But this much is clear: Democratic values are under siege, and the United States and our generation has a responsibility to act.”
Last week, the House passed a Republican-led plan to provide billions of dollars in aid to Israel. Senator Durbin criticized the plan, which would cut funding for the IRS and wouldn’t include support for Ukraine to defend against Russia’s invasion.
“Protecting our national security interests and defending American values will take a bipartisan effort, not political games,” says Durbin. “As such, I urge my colleagues to swiftly pass this funding package and help reassure the global community that as long as there is a United States of America, we will be standing for freedom across the world.”
Full video of Senator Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor can be found here.