Ranking Member DeLauro Floor Remarks in Opposition to the Partisan Israel Supplemental

2023-11-02 16:09

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in opposition to the partisan emergency funding bill:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill.

We live with deepening crises around the world and America’s leadership is being challenged like no other juncture in our history. And you can be sure, Putin is watching. Ayatollah Khamenei is watching.

Are they going to see a united and strong America that shows why we are admired and why we are exceptional?  

This Congress is called to respond to the crises in Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific, here at home and on our border. I hoped we would be debating a bill that rose to the seriousness of these crises, without delay.

But this bill fails Israel. And this bill fails the 1,400 Israelis and 36 Americans who were slaughtered in their homes and on the streets in cold blood. Those brutal massacres recalled the Holocaust, and demanded Israel act against Hamas with the support of the United States.

But what the House Republicans have done is unprecedented and will mean any aid to Israel will be delayed. First, it puts in a poison-partisan pill that removes funding to ensure the richest Americans and corporations pay taxes.

It is supposedly paid for with cuts to the IRS of $14.3 billion, which CBO says will nearly double the cost of this bill and add $12 billion to the deficit. It furthers the Republican goal of keeping billionaires and the big corporations from paying taxes.

Second, it is conditioning an emergency appropriation. We do not condition emergency appropriations.

This is the first time we have conditioned aid to Israel. Is Israel less important than other national emergencies? Is Israel just a budget line? Is it just more fodder for the partisan wars that polarize America?

It is outrageous that a major emergency funding bill, in response to the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust, is tied to offsets. Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, is reeling from a terrorist attack and urgently needs our support.

This bill tells our allies that, should they find themselves in an existential war for their democracy and freedom, we will not put aside our partisan wars.

This bill abandons Ukraine. We will not abandon Israel, and we will not abandon Ukraine. But their fortunes are linked. Ukraine’s fight for democracy and sovereignty requires decisive action and absolute support from the free world. We must act like the leaders of the free world. This is appeasement like the world experienced in 1938, and which led to a cascading murderous result. As Winston Churchill said at that time, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

This bill tells America’s border communities that you cannot count on us for security or support.

Let me go to one other critical part of this bill. It provides only military aid. It provides no humanitarian aid for the innocent civilians caught in the middle of this war. None.

Are you watching the unfolding of this war and have no humanity?

Let me remind the Speaker of his colleague’s nominating speech. Congresswoman Stefanik recalled, “In God We Trust” is emblazoned over the Speaker’s chair. The Speaker reiterated “In God We Trust.”

The Speaker said to look to the Bible to know his thinking, and I too, look to my Catholic faith. So, in this critical bill, we remove all help for the civilians being killed in this war.

Hamas is responsible for spreading a humanitarian crisis as it builds its armaments deep inside civilian centers. But the bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp creates unacceptable civilian losses. We need a humanitarian pause.

And that is why we need a serious bill that addresses all the national security crises facing our country and that reaches for support in both parties.

House Democrats are ready to work with House Republicans on legislation that supports our allies abroad including Israel and Ukraine, protects our national security, provides humanitarian assistance, secures our border, and makes much-needed domestic investments, but House Republicans so far refuse to join us at the negotiating table.

We need to prove – as we did in the years after World War II and throughout the Cold War – that we can protect, defend, and nurture global democracy as the preeminent form of governance at the same time we serve the American people.

Our allies and the American people have no more time to wait. We must act now to defend our allies, protect civilians, and serve the American people’s urgent needs. This bill does none of the above, so I urge my colleagues to withhold their support. Thank you, and I reserve my time.


118th Congress