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GOP: We Must Address National Security Threats

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities.

McConnell was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“In response to Iran’s massive attack against Israel over the weekend, we saw two things:

First, we saw a sovereign nation that takes its security seriously mount a successful defense. Israel’s air defenses, with the help of regional and coalition partners and the vigilant support of brave U.S. servicemembers in the region, intercepted and neutralized the bulk of the 300 drones and missiles launched by Iran.

Unfortunately, the second thing we saw was a Commander-in-Chief sticking to the same playbook – second-guessing the will of the Israeli people and trying to tie the hands of an ally under attack.

President Biden insisted ahead of Iran’s attack that America’s commitment to Israel was ‘ironclad’. But after three years of appeasement and weakness, and six months of quibbling over Israel’s right to self-defense, I’m not really sure who he expects to believe that assertion.

Just saying our commitment is ironclad doesn’t make it so. Words don’t paper over the glaring rifts between the Biden Administration and the national unity government in Jerusalem. The public criticism of Israel by senior Administration officials undoubtedly influences the decisions of Israel’s adversaries.

If the President’s commitment to a vital ally were ‘ironclad’, his response to this weekend’s attack would not be to lecture her leaders against responding in self-defense.

Would an American Commander-in-Chief fail to respond if an adversary launched 300 missiles at American soil? The fact that our collective defenses worked in this case doesn’t obviate the threat. It doesn’t make the need to compel Iran to change its behavior any less urgent.

Make absolutely no mistake: Iran is not deterred. It is emboldened.

The regime that attacked Israel this weekend is the same one that green-lit the violent hijacking of a commercial shipping vessel earlier that same day. It’s the same Iran that trains, equips, sustains, and expends terrorists proxies from Lebanon to Gaza to Iraq and Syria to Yemen.

It’s the same regime that continues to grow an arsenal of long-range ballistic missiles and advance closer and closer to a nuclear weapons capability.

And, of course, it’s the same murderous regime that continues to equip Russia’s brutal violence in Ukraine. It is no mere coincidence that the mixed barrage of UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles designed to complicate Israeli air defenses is the same mix Russia uses to launch devastating and frequent long-range attacks against Ukrainian cities.

Our adversaries are working together to make America and our friends less safe and less secure.

It is time for the Commander-in-Chief to lead allies and partners in an international effort to impose meaningful costs on Iran, threatening the things its leaders hold dear, and changing this regime’s violent behavior.

We cannot afford weakness. We cannot afford to be deterred by Iran. The easiest way to hasten escalation and wider war is to show you’re unwilling or unable to meet aggression with strength. There’s only one way to stop a bully.

So it’s time for the Commander-in-Chief to stand by our allies and stand up to our adversaries. He can begin to do that today.

But it’s also time for Congress to deliver the urgent investments that our industrial base, our forces, and our partners will need to meet and out-compete the growing and linked threats we face.

The Senate passed an urgent national security supplemental two months ago.

It would help meet the urgent needs of Ukraine’s resistance, equip Indo-Pacific allies to deter PRC aggression, replenish Israel’s stocks of critical capabilities, and expand our own capacity to refill and deploy the arsenal of democracy.

Anyone taking the challenges we face seriously knows that these unmet needs are absolutely urgent. So I’ll once again urge our House colleagues to take up this legislation without delay.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.