Congress absolutely should think for itself on President Joe Biden’s $106 billion supplemental funding request — but it needs to approve the bulk of the spending without delay.
Funds for war-torn Ukraine and Israel are a must, as is the money to replenish US military stocks and bolder domestic defense production.
As Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Tuesday, America’s enemies are “making the bet that the United States is too divided or distracted at home to stay the course” in helping its friends.
Israel’s need is beyond obvious: It’s facing constant rocket and missile attacks; even its vast Iron Dome and other air-defense stocks will need replenishing, for starters.
As Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell puts it, “This is a moment for swift and decisive action to prevent further loss of life, and to impose real consequences on the tyrants who have terrorized the people of Ukraine and of Israel.”
Indeed, “Enemies abroad will be watching closely and waiting for America to falter. Only our concrete and credible support can deter our adversaries in the future and restore security.”
Ukraine-doubters should make no mistake: What happens in Europe will resound across the globe.
McConnell rightly points to “an axis of evil: China, Russia and Iran. So this is not just a test for Ukraine. It is a test for the United States and for the free world. And the path toward greater security for all of us is simple: Help Ukraine win the war.”
And: “If Russia prevails, there’s no question that Putin’s appetite for empire will actually extend into NATO, raising the threat to the US trans-Atlantic alliance, and the risk of war for us.”
House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) also warns, “It’s incredibly important that we move forward to make certain that we stand up against the authoritarian regimes that are trying to undermine democracies that are our allies.” That includes being “more focused on Russia as a threat to the United States than we have been.”
Corruption may indeed be an issue in aid to Ukraine, but Putin is a far bigger issue.
And the most important assistance is the weapons and major ammunition Kyiv needs to keep fighting — which are the hardest stuff to divert.
House Republicans can reject some of Biden’s request — more money for his border policies might make no sense at all, for example.
But the core funds for bolstering US defenses and helping Israel and Ukraine need approving fast.