Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, expressed doubts about the viability of President Joe Biden's $105 billion foreign aid proposal in its existing state within the Senate.
During his national address last Thursday, President Biden detailed the specifics of the aid package, which designates $60 billion for Ukraine and allocates an additional $3.5 billion for Gaza, the Daily Wire reported.
Biden emphasized the package's importance not only for Ukraine but also as a robust endorsement for Israel. Out of the entire package, Israel is set to receive $14 billion, aimed at bolstering its military prowess, replenishing the Iron Dome defense system, and symbolizing America's support against Iran.
“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,” he added. “Nor will we spend $4.7 billion for housing, transportation, and ‘services’ for illegal aliens in the United States rather than deporting them.”
The ambitious foreign aid proposal was officially sent to Congress by President Biden mere hours after his announcement from the Oval Office. This move comes during a turbulent period for the House as it grapples with the challenge of electing a new Speaker following the unsuccessful bid by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, expressed a more forward momentum, indicating the Senate Democrats' intent to expedite the passage of President Biden's budget proposal.
While McConnell (R-KY) extended a tentative nod of approval towards the foreign aid package, he underscored the Senate's responsibility to create a tailored supplemental bill that addresses the nuanced demands of America's national security. In a call to action, he urged fellow senators to hasten their efforts, given the multitude of pressing challenges facing the nation's security.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) echoed bipartisan support for providing aid to Ukraine and Israel but stressed the need for concurrent policy reforms, particularly addressing the so-called #BidenBorderCrisis, without which he fears the proposed aid may falter. Similarly, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) critiqued the proposal, asserting it would only exacerbate the border situation by further empowering the administration's existing policies.
Sen. Cotton was forthright in his declaration, assuring that the current Biden proposal would face roadblocks in the Senate, with Republicans rallying to draft a more fitting 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.