November 02, 2023

Kilmer Statement on House Passage of Partisan, Incomplete Security Supplemental Legislation

Kilmer advocates for a funding package that supports allies, delivers humanitarian assistance, and upholds democracy worldwide.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) released the following statement after voting to reject Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s partisan, incomplete security supplemental legislation:

America stands firmly with Israel in its fight to defend its people, and the United States should provide resources toward that end.

I support providing emergency security aid to Israel. However, I cannot and will not support the partisan and haphazard attempt by House Speaker Mike Johnson to pass legislation that fails to meet the immense national security challenges of this moment.

Honestly, this is why people hate Congress. Speaker Johnson and D.C. Republicans have taken a proposal with broad, bipartisan support and have cynically packed it with poison pills. First – let’s talk about what’s in it. Among other things, the House Republicans have cynically included “offsets” that – under the guise of “paying for” this bill – would be soft on tax cheats while actually increasing the deficit substantially. In a troubling sign that he intends to bend to the most extreme voices in his party, Speaker Johnson has included preconditions for aid to Israel that would set a dangerous precedent for issues that matter to our national security.

Beyond that, let’s acknowledge what’s missing. Speaker Johnson’s bill fails to fulfill our obligations to our closest ally in the Middle East, but it also fails to deliver humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza. What’s more, it includes zero help for Taiwan, or for our allies in Ukraine who are working to repel Vladimir Putin’s invading forces.

This is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Not only is this bill dead on arrival in the Senate, but President Biden also announced he would veto it. Frankly, Speaker Johnson’s partisan games are a waste of time when our allies have none to spare.

For decades, Congress has worked in a bipartisan manner to pass comprehensive national security legislation that provides our allies and partners with the resources they need to defend their people and uphold democracy in moments of great need. This should be one of those moments. Sadly, as one of his first acts as Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson is missing the moment and choosing to play politics.

In a recent visit to Tel Aviv, President Biden stated: “As long as the United States stands – and we will stand forever – we will not let [Israel] ever be alone.”

Now is not the time to leave Israel, Ukraine, or our allies in the Indo-Pacific alone.

Congress must act quickly to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan national security supplemental bill to meet this moment and stand with our allies across the globe.

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