U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

McCONNELL: Republicans Recognize Scope of National Security Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities:

“This morning, the Senate welcomed Ukraine’s inspirational and determined President Zelensky to the Capitol.

“For nearly two years, the people of Ukraine have defied the world’s expectations. They’ve ground down the world’s second most powerful military. And they’ve confounded Putin’s aggressive imperialist aspirations.

“At every step of the way, America’s commitment and support has provided critical fuel for Ukraine’s resistance and helped European allies wake up from a holiday from history.

“Now, our allies are awake. They’re investing in collective defense.

“And clear majorities of Americans understand the importance of America continuing to lead as the arsenal of democracy.

“I’ve been a staunch supporter of Ukraine’s fight to take back its land, liberate its people, and restore its sovereignty since the beginning of Russia’s invasion way back in 2014.

“Our Ukrainian friends’ cause is just. And if the West continues to stand with them, they can win.

“But let’s be absolutely clear: Ukraine’s cause hasn’t always been popular here in Washington.

“In 2021, Republicans recommended that the Biden Administration step up assistance to help Ukraine deter renewed Russian threats.

“And the Administration seemed to think Ukraine was a frozen conflict, and a distraction from other priorities.

“In early 2022, as the gravity of Putin’s plans came into focus, Republicans urged the President to expedite shipments of critical weapons systems to stop Russia’s advance.

“But his Administration’s unfounded fear of escalating the conflict repeatedly kept decisive capabilities out of Ukrainian hands at critical moments.

“When Russia’s troops crossed the border and the Administration first came to Congress for assistance, it was Republicans who demanded we use emergency funds to pay for the cost of deploying U.S. forces to Europe rather than forcing our military to take these costs out of hide.

“And it was Republicans who demanded that our supplemental appropriations bills include funding to replenish and modernize the stockpiles we were drawing down to support Ukraine.

“Perhaps they expected the war to be over quickly, but the Biden Administration requested neither of these things.

“In fact, when the Senate received the President’s first supplemental request, I called the Democratic Leader and said, ‘Double it.’ He agreed with my suggestion, and that’s precisely what we did.

“Republicans on the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Appropriations Committees have worked overtime to help equip Ukraine for victory.

“We’ve pushed relentlessly for investments that strengthen our armed forces, degrade our adversaries, and stand firmly with a sovereign democracy against authoritarian aggression – all while expanding our defense industrial capacity and creating American jobs at the very same time.

“We’ve done it because we know that American leadership has ripple effects. Just look at how our European allies are now contributing more to Ukraine than we are… How allies around the world are investing in hard power, and in our collective defense. 

“We know that the threats we face are intertwined... That Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea work together to undermine America and the West.

“We know that our border – just like Ukraine’s borders, and Israel’s, and Taiwan’s – must be inviolable.

“That’s why – for months now – we’ve supported supplemental action on all four of the most pressing national security challenges we face.

“My support for Ukraine and Israel is rock-solid. I’m committed to preparing the U.S. military to deter and defend against Chinese aggression. I’m determined to get the national security crisis at our southern border under control.

“And I’m going to work to get it done, as long as it takes.”



Submit Press Releases