Ranking Member DeLauro Calls for Passage of National Security Funding Bills

April 18, 2024
Press Release

***WATCH: DeLauro, “History will judge us for whether we stand strong or capitulate in this moment.”***

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today called on Democrats and Republicans to unite and pass the package of three national security funding bills. These bills provide support for Ukraine’s battle against Russian tyranny and Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists, as well as security for Taiwan and deterrence against Chinese aggression, and to address humanitarian crises in Gaza, Ukraine, and other populations caught in conflict zones.

Before the House Rules Committee, Ranking Member DeLauro delivered the remarks below:

“Chairman Burgess, Ranking Member McGovern, and distinguished members of the committee, I strongly support passage of the three supplemental appropriations bills in this national security funding package.

“This legislation provides the support for our allies that has been desperately needed for months – it supports Ukraine against Russian aggression; Israel in its war against Iran and its proxies, like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis; our Indo-Pacific partners against an adversarial China; and it provides the urgently needed humanitarian aid for millions of civilians who have been caught in the crossfire across these theaters.

“Innocent families are in danger, children are starving, and civilian casualties are mounting in conflict zones all around the world. The humanitarian support in this bill would make sure we are not leaving Gazans, the Ukrainians, the Sudanese, the Haitians, or the Rohingya behind.

“The Speaker has come out for aid to Ukraine. He said, and I quote, ‘History judges us for what we do. This is a critical time in the world stage.’ And the Speaker continued, quote, ‘I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys.’

“I applaud Speaker Johnson for taking a stand. He is right. History will judge us for whether we stand strong or capitulate in this moment. The moment has met us.

“To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who do not support this aid – we cannot retreat from the world stage under the guise of putting ‘America First.’

“We put America first by demonstrating the power of American leadership – that we have the strength and resolve and heart to fight for the most vulnerable people, protect their freedom, and preserve their dignity.

“It is shameful that the urgency of the moment has gone unanswered for so long. Our allies and adversaries have seen America all but yield back its central role in defending human rights, freedom, and democracy.

“If Ukraine does not receive the support needed to counter Russia’s outrageous attack on its sovereign territory, the legacy of this Congress will be the appeasement of a dictator, the destruction of an allied nation, and a fractured Europe. And yes, my colleague Congressman McCaul, we can be either be Neville Chamberlin or Winston Churchill. And I ask the members of this Committee, what is the difference between drones, missiles, and rockets raining down on Israel and drones, missiles, and rockets raining down on Ukraine?

“If we are not there for Ukraine, gone will be the postwar order that has kept Europe free and prosperous. Gone will be our credibility, in the eyes of our allies and of our adversaries. And gone will be the America that promised to stand up for freedom, democracy, and human rights, wherever they are threatened or wherever they are under attack.

“Vladimir Putin is betting that he can outlast the will and determination of Ukraine, the United States, and other Western Allies. We must prove him definitively wrong.

“In the Middle East – I wholeheartedly support funding for Israel’s defense.

“Israel was attacked by Iran. I applaud the role of the United States and the role that it has played to provide Israel in its defense against Iran and its proxies. We are still awaiting Israel’s response to the attack over the weekend.

“We must ensure Israel can stand strong in the face of adversaries like Iran that seek its annihilation.

“We must also ensure that every step possible is taken to protect innocent life in Gaza and elsewhere.

“To that end, I have called for an immediate ceasefire of at least six weeks to facilitate the safe delivery of aid to civilians in Gaza. We must protect aid workers, we must open additional crossings to bring in at least 500 trucks a day, and ensure that food is never used as a weapon of war. We need this time to help get hostages released and the United States cannot sit by while people are starving to death.

“Our allies are facing existential threats, and our friends and our foes around the world are watching, waiting, to see how America will respond.

“Putin is watching. Xi is watching. Ayatollah Khamenei is watching.

“What course will they see America take?

“We cannot let any nation around the globe hold any doubt that the United States is a committed partner in the security of the free world.

“And we cannot shift the goalposts any further. Right now is the time to pass this bill.”

Summaries of the appropriations provisions included in the three funding bills in this package can be found here: Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024; Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024; Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024.


118th Congress