A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Opinion – Mitch McConnell: History will record that America stepped up; Senate approves funding

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding the national security supplemental:

This is an extremely important day in the history of our country and of the free world. They are all watching waiting to see what we would do.

When Vladimir Putin escalated his war against Ukraine, I told our colleagues that allies and adversaries alike would pay very close attention to America’s response.

When Iran-backed terrorists invaded the Jewish state on October 7th to slaughter innocent Israelis, I warned that the world would watch closely for signs that American leadership was actually weakening.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

For months, our friends have watched to see whether America still had the strength that won the Cold War, or the resolve that has underpinned peace and prosperity literally for decades.

Our enemies have tested whether the arsenal of democracy is, in fact, built to endure.

Well, tonight, the Senate will send a clear message.

History will record that even as allies and partners may have worried about the depth of our resolve…

Even as Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran grew more convinced that our influence had run its course…

And even as loud voices here at home insisted on abandoning the responsibilities of leadership…

America stepped up. And the Senate held firm.

It’s time to re-affirm some basic truths:

That alliances matter.

That foreign nations’ respect for American interests depends on our willingness to defend them.

And that peace, prosperity, and security are not accidents – They’re products of American leadership and American sacrifice.

The votes we’re about to cast will be among the most consequential.

But the difficult work of restoring and sustaining hard power, defense industrial capacity, and global influence must continue beyond this supplemental.

So I’ll just say to my colleagues:

We can wish for a world where the responsibilities of leadership don’t fall to us.

Or we can act like we understand that they do.

Tonight, as at so many moments in our history, idle calls for America to lower its guard ring hollow.

None of us is absolved of our duty to see the world as it is.

None of us is excused from our obligation to equip the United States to face down those who wish us harm.

I’ve said it before: history settles every account.

And I welcome the eyes of posterity on what the Senate does tonight.

Mitch McConnell is the Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate and is from Kentucky.

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