FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—The Biden administration should act quickly to support an aid package for Israel, thus sending a clear message to Iran as the Jewish state seeks to root out Tehran-backed Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Sen. Roger Marshall urges.
“Leave it to President Biden to blow an opportunity to bring a clear, precise, quick, unhesitant message to the people of Iran, the terrorists from Iran, the terrorists from Hamas, all the puppets of Iran,” Marshall told The Daily Signal in an interview Wednesday.
Israel would receive at least $14.3 billion in aid under a stand-alone bill introduced last week by Marshall, R-Kan., and fellow Senate Republicans JD Vance of Ohio, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas.
The four GOP lawmakers introduced the legislation in response to President Joe Biden’s proposed $106 billion “emergency supplemental” package, which would direct $61.4 billion to Ukraine as well as $14.3 billion to Israel, among other spending.
However, tying aid to Israel to more money for Ukraine would delay passage of the package in Congress, Marshall said in the interview for “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
“This week, last week, we could have passed [an aid package] maybe with 98 of 100 senators voting to help Israel out right now,” Marshall said.
“But instead, once you bring in these other issues, Ukraine funding, Taiwan funding … it becomes very controversial,” the Kansas Republican said.
Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, killing some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking over 200 hostages. Americans were among the dead or kidnapped. Analysts say that Iran helped fund and plan the attack by its proxy, Hamas.
“We need a quick response,” Marshall said. “Iran needs to know that this isn’t a battle just between the people of Israel and the Hamas army of terror, [that] this is a battle for the future of humankind, and that we’re not going to tolerate terrorism.”
Senate Republicans’ stand-alone Israel aid bill would provide $10.6 billion for assistance through the Defense Department, $3.5 billion in foreign military financing, and $200 million in diplomatic funding to help protect U.S. embassies and personnel, according to Marshall’s office.
“There’s no funding for humanitarian ‘whatevers’ into Gaza” in the GOP bill, Marshall told The Daily Signal. “We think that that’s a mistake that we’ve seen just recently, the Gaza aid—the Hamas army of terrorists stole that as well. “
“So, [the stand-alone bill] is all the funding strictly for Israel to fight that battle, very straightforward and [we] would love to get it on the floor to vote on today,” he added.
In the House, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has proposed a similar stand-alone bill providing $14.3 billion for Israel. During a recent interview with Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany, a former White House press secretary, Johnson said the aid funds should come out of the Biden administration’s boost in funding for the Internal Revenue Service as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Biden signed that measure last year.
However, the White House said Tuesday that Biden would veto any aid package for Israel that would take money from the IRS.
“Another veto threat,” Marshall said, in response to Biden’s pledge.
Marshall said he supports Johnson and also wants the money for Israel to come from the IRS, but acknowledged that helping Israel in that way would make the package “harder to pass” in the Senate, which Democrats narrowly control.
“I think the quickest way” to pass funding for Israel, Marshall said, is to “put our legislation on the floor, ask for unanimous consent [to pass it], and really that could be done in one day.”
The House was expected to vote Thursday on Johnson’s proposed aid package for Israel, but it is considered unlikely that the Senate would take up that bill from the Republican-controlled House.
Listen to Sen. Marshall on “The Daily Signal Podcast” below:
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