April 26, 2024

Congressman Blake Moore’s Statement on National Security and Foreign Affairs Bills

WASHINGTON – Congressman Blake Moore issued the following statement after voting to defend U.S. national security and advance U.S. interests:

“Today I voted in favor of four national security bills that will advance the U.S. national interest in a cost-effective manner, strengthen the domestic industrial base of the U.S. economy, and support our allies and partners as they defend themselves from threats posed by dangerous regimes. Utah’s First District is playing a significant role in leading our deterrence efforts, with our Hill Air Force Base fighter squadrons making consistent deployments to the European, Middle East, and Indo-Pacific theaters. 

While the United States has been the preeminent superpower on the world stage ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the sobering reality is that we are no longer alone and unchallenged. There isn't just one explanation for this. China's rampant growth and transition into a legitimate power is one. Vladimir Putin taking Russia down a dark path of aggression and bloodshed in Europe is another, as is Iran's ever-present goal of wiping Israel off the map.

These packages proactively address this threat by taking a fundamentally conservative approach to foreign policy and national security: peace through strength. Notably, there has never been a more important time to support our ally Israel as they face unprecedented threats from all sides. Ensuring that we take strong deterrence measures, support our allies, and send clear signals to our adversaries are the best possible tools we have to prevent largescale global conflict and ensure the United States never has to fight another world war. Ronald Reagan understood this well, as did the Trump Administration. 

There are two things I want constituents to know: 1) The overwhelming majority of this money is going directly back into the U.S. economy and supporting jobs at home. Nearly 80% of the Ukraine funding, for example, will never leave U.S. shores and will instead replenish old defense articles and stocks or purchase new defense technology from U.S. businesses. $5.3 billion of the $8 billion Indo-Pacific bill goes directly into building submarines at home, fixing our drydock shipbuilding capacity, and replenishing old stocks. 

2) The supplemental aid we have provided Ukraine since Russia’s invasion is approximately 5% of our defense spending and less than 0.2% of our GDP during that period. With these funds, we have deteriorated the Russian military, fortified the NATO alliance, and exposed Russian weaknesses – all without putting a single American soldier at risk. I certainly do not believe that any country should presume that it’s the U.S. taxpayer’s role to undersign every conflict or war against aggressors. But as China and Russia seek to undermine our economic prosperity and security, I believe today’s packages are squarely in our national interest because they allow us to improve our supply chains and industrial base, modernize our own weapons, and encourage our European partners to increase their own defense budgets and overall burden sharing. 

I voted in favor of an amendment to the Ukraine bill introduced by Rep. Cammack (R-FL) to block non-lethal assistance to Ukraine—a responsibility on which our European allies need to continue to lead — but this amendment was unsuccessful. I voted yes on final passage because failing to pass this bill would mean we do not provide lethal aid to Ukraine and replenish our own stocks. However, we took President Trump’s idea to convert the non-lethal aid portion of the Ukraine bill into a loan agreement, and we included oversight mechanisms and safeguards.

We passed a third bill that will provide new security investments in the Indo-Pacific to help partners like the Philippines and Taiwan protect themselves from the Chinese Communist Party and maintain order in the region. Lastly, a fourth bill included new measures to sanction Iranian assets, stem the flow of fentanyl across the southern border, seize and repurpose Russian assets frozen in U.S. banks, and force TikTok’s Chinese owner to divest or face a ban. 

I am greatly disappointed that there wasn’t a border security measure in the final package, but this was because extreme voices in both parties refused to compromise, ensuring no movement at all to stem the brutal tide of violence and chaos at the border. Senator Lankford's border security proposal in February wasn't perfect, but we could have strengthened it in the House to restrict the onslaught of illegal migrant entries and end the major abuses of asylum law under President Biden's watch. I was glad to vote for a separate border bill today, but it did not have enough support to become law. We must find a bipartisan compromise because Congress cannot continue to play political games with our security. It is egregious that Biden is not securing our borders under his current executive powers or reinstating policies from the Trump Administration.

The bottom line is that we must grapple with the bad actors who are creating the riskiest and most unstable geopolitical moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Stopping the march of our enemies is not just a rhetorical exercise; resources are necessary to accomplish this. Funding our national security has real impacts on every American and the Utahns who serve faithfully at Hill Air Force Base in Utah’s First District. These bills keep American citizens safe, keep our servicemembers out of harm's way, and punish the enemies of freedom who are eroding global stability.”