Lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum are in consensus that further assistance should be provided to Israel following the tragic terrorist attack launched by Hamas. The Biden administration has already dispatched aid to the country, yet, for additional support, congressional approval is necessary.
Simultaneously, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine persists. While most legislators agree that Ukraine requires increased aid, there are those who expressed dissatisfaction with President Biden for addressing both allies in his speech.
On the evening of October 20, President Biden delivered a televised address in which he discussed the recent terrorist attack in Israel and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. During his speech, the President conveyed to the American people that the world is at a critical turning point in history. He also mentioned that he had visited Israel the day before and had a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Furthermore, he had the opportunity to engage with individuals who had experienced the Hamas terrorist attack.
Following his discussion of his commitment to Israel, President Biden turned his attention to the conflict in Ukraine. He highlighted the stark parallels between the recent attack on Israel and the nearly 20 months of warfare, suffering, and cruelty endured by Ukrainians due to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In his address, the President specifically mentioned the presence of mass graves and the mistreatment of individuals in Ukraine at the hands of Putin’s forces. He drew a comparison between President Putin and Hamas, emphasizing their shared objective of eliminating a neighboring democratic entity.
Republicans criticized President Biden for raising the issue of the Russian conflict in Ukraine. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) expressed her strong disapproval of the President’s actions, suggesting that he ought to have announced the suspension of $6 billion for Iran and the cessation of aid to Gaza, led by Jake Sullivan, separately. She argued against linking the assistance to these two nations.
Tonight, Biden should announce he is freezing $6 billion for Iran, halting aid to Gaza, placing sanctions on Iranian oil, and firing Jake Sullivan. He should not be tying aid to Israel with aid to Ukraine, or the border.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 20, 2023
Senator JD Vance (R-OH) strongly criticized President Biden’s speech, deeming it repugnant. Vance accused the President of leveraging the tragedy involving deceased children in Israel to promote his contentious Ukraine policy among doubtful Americans.
What Biden is doing is disgusting. He’s using dead children in Israel to sell his disastrous Ukraine policy to skeptical Americans.— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) October 20, 2023
They are not the same countries, they are not the same problems, and this effort to use Israel for political cover is offensive.
Detractors heavily criticized the senator for failing to acknowledge the over 1,500 Ukrainian children who have lost their lives or suffered injuries since the commencement of the invasion.
The likelihood of Congress complying with President Biden’s requests remains uncertain. The House must first select a speaker before any legislative actions can progress in the lower chamber. Currently, Capitol Hill finds itself in a state of deadlock.