Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who works closely with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said Friday that President Joe Biden’s request for $105 billion in foreign aid doesn’t stand a chance to pass the Senate in its current form.
Biden announced the foreign aid package that sends $60 billion to Ukraine and includes $3.5 billion for Gaza during his address to the nation on Thursday. The president touted the package as vital support for Israel as well, but the majority of the funds would go to Ukraine. While Ukraine would receive $60 billion under the aid package, Israel would be sent $14 billion for “sharpen[ing] Israel’s military edge,” to replenish its Iron Dome, and to send a message to Iran that the U.S. stands with Israel, Biden said.
“President Biden’s slush fund proposal is dead on arrival, just like his budgets. We will not spend, for example, $3.5 billion to address the ‘potential needs of Gazans,’ essentially functioning as a resupply line for Hamas terrorists,” Cotton said in a statement.
“We will also not spend $11.8 billion to fund the Ukrainian government’s own non-war spending, such as funding retirement pensions for Ukrainian government employees,” the senator added. “Nor will we spend $4.7 billion for housing, transportation, and ‘services’ for illegal aliens in the United States rather than deporting them.”
Biden sent his $105 billion request to Congress Friday hours after his Oval Office address. As the House continues to search for a speaker after Republicans’ failed attempts to elect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Senate Democrats will quickly move to pass Biden’s budget request.
“This legislation is too important to wait for the House to settle their chaos,” he said. “Senate Democrats will move expeditiously on this request, and we hope that our Republican colleagues across the aisle will join us to pass this much-needed funding.”
McConnell (R-KY) signaled his support for the aide package but said the Senate “must produce our own supplemental legislation that meets the demonstrated needs of our national security.” He encouraged his colleagues to work quickly as “a number of serious challenges to the U.S. national security require the Senate’s urgent attention.”
Another Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, expressed that he supports aid to Ukraine and Israel, but added that “without meaningful and substantive policy changes that will address the #BidenBorderCrisis such aid is in serious jeopardy.” Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said the funding request from Biden will provide the administration with “more money to fuel its disastrous open-borders resettlement operation” and “worsen the border crisis.”
In his statement, Cotton promised that Biden’s proposal would be blocked, and Republicans would get to work crafting a better bill.
“The Biden proposal is going nowhere, and Senate Republicans will take the lead on crafting a funding bill that protects Americans and their interests,” he said.