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Rubio Calls Foreign-aid Bill “Moral Extortion” and “Legislative Blackmail”

Apr 23, 2024 | Comunicados de Prensa

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered a speech on the Senate floor explaining why he opposes spending $95 billion on foreign aid while the Biden Administration leaves America’s southern border wide open.

  • “I have senior citizens, I have veterans, and they call my office and they call our offices and they say ‘I have nowhere to live, housing is too expensive’…. And the most we can often do is help get them on a waiting list for section eight housing. This is a problem that exists in America right now. 
  • “But if I want to help Israel, if I want to help Taiwan, if I want to help Ukraine, if I want to ban TikTok, I have to vote for spending billions of dollars to give to charity groups so they can fly people around the country here and put them up in hotel rooms, or so they can help resettlement in another country?” – senador Rubio

Rubio opposed a near-identical proposal in February 2024, warning, “This invasion of the United States is going to get worse, not better.”

Click here for video.

RUBIO: In a few hours here, the press headlines are going to read that the Senate just passed the Ukraine funding bill. That’s what they’ll call it. But this bill is about a lot more than just Ukraine. There’s a lot in this bill, and I want to go through some of it. 

First of all, it provides something I have strongly supported, which is $26 billion to the state of Israel to defeat Hamas, to defend itself against its enemies. This is something we actually tried to pass on its own, and could have passed on its own, months ago. It was blocked. It was held hostage for Ukraine funding. But it’s something we should have done months ago.

I think Israel, in and of itself, is a miracle country. On the first day of its existence, it was invaded, I believe, by 12 separate armies. The whole world thought they would be overrun and defeated very quickly. And they survived. And they have, throughout their entire existence, had to deal with the fact that everywhere they turn, they have enemies all around them. It also happens to be the only pro-American democracy in the Middle East. 

And today, it’s engaged in a battle to not just defeat these vicious criminals and terrorists who committed a slaughter on the 7th of October of last year, but also deal with rockets being launched against them from Lebanon. You have 90-something thousand Israelis potentially permanently displaced in their own country. They can’t go back to where they live in the northern part of the country. 

And then there’s the threat from Iran and the threat from all the terror groups, Hezbollah and the like, that are constantly targeting Israel. Then the Israelis are having to face all the things that are happening around the world as well, in this effort to delegitimize their right to exist as a Jewish nation. 

[To vote for Israel aid], I have to drop my demand that the president enforce our immigration laws? I have to vote for billions of dollars to be spent on all kinds of programs around the world, including for people that are illegally entering this country? This is moral extortion. 

First of all, nine million people over three years. That’s what’s entered our country. This is not immigration. We should always be a country that welcomes immigration. It enriches our country…. Nine million people and counting in three years? That is mass migration. And mass migration is never good. There is never such a thing as a positive mass migration, particularly of nine million people in three years. But at a time when our country, from the inside and the outside, is being infiltrated by people and by movements that seek to destroy America, mass migration is catastrophically dangerous. 

Last week, there was a coordinated effort to cause the most economic impact possible on the United States until our leaders abandon Israel. That’s their demand. We had pro-terrorist mobs—these are not protesters, these are pro-terrorist mobs—shut down traffic on an interstate highway in Oregon. They blocked passengers from getting to the airport in Chicago and Seattle. They closed down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 

Right now, as I speak on the Senate floor, some of our most prestigious universities’ campuses are closed because they’ve been taken over by pro-terrorist mobs harassing Jewish students. “Go back to Poland,” they say. Others are chanting, “Go, Hamas, we love you. We support your rockets, too.” I’ve heard these chants. “We say justice. You say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground.” The situation has gotten so intolerable that just two days ago, a rabbi advised Jewish students to leave Columbia University and go home for their safety. 

This morning, I got a text message from a Jewish friend, and I read something I never thought I would ever have to read. Here’s what he wrote to me: “I have to tell you, for the first time in my life, I see Jewish people scared for their safety and considering exit strategies from the USA, including buying homes in foreign countries and looking to liquidate USA assets.” I never thought I would ever read that from anybody in America. 

These mobs, by the way, don’t just want to destroy Israel. They want to destroy America. Some of these mobs are out there chanting “Death to America” in the streets of American cities. This is what one of the mob leaders at one of these riots said to a microphone: “It’s not just Genocide Joe that has to go. It is the entire system that has to go. Any system that would allow such atrocities and devilry to happen and would support it, such a system does not deserve to exist on God’s earth.” 

You know what system he’s talking about? This system, our system, our system of government. That’s what he was talking about. Where did all this come from? How did all of this happen from one day to the next? How come things that we once only saw happening in the streets of Tehran, manufactured by the evil regime, are now being chanted in our streets, in our country? Where did this come from? 

The clues are everywhere. Hamas and Hezbollah have been very, very public about how these violent, anti-Israel, antisemitic mobs are part of their strategy to intimidate American leaders to support policies that will help destroy Israel. Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups have repeatedly called on their supporters around the world to protest in cities everywhere, and they boast about how what they call their “friends on the global left” are actually now responding to their calls. 

This is all coming from interviews that they do on television, programs that can be monitored. They openly brag about this. “Because of the introduction of colonialism, racism, and slavery studies into history curricula,” they say, “many young Americans have been groomed to support armed resistance, to support intifada in the United States.” 

By the way, it’s not just the mobs that we’re seeing. Beyond that, as the director of the FBI has acknowledged, ISIS generates income by running a human smuggling ring that brings migrants to the United States. Just the bare minimum of common sense would lead you to conclude that if ISIS has a business to smuggle migrants into the U.S., why wouldn’t they use that to smuggle a few terrorists here to do in America what they did in Moscow a few weeks ago? 

We have Hamas, and we have Hezbollah, and we have all these terror groups encouraging and supporting violent mobs calling for intifada inside America. We already have people here on student visas calling for death to America. And ISIS controls a migrant smuggling ring that they can use to bring people into the United States to conduct attacks. 

But if I want to help Israel, if I want to help Taiwan, if I want to help Ukraine, if I want to ban TikTok, I have to vote to do nothing to stop thousands of people a day that we know literally nothing about from coming across our border and being released into our country? 

I have always supported the U.S. being engaged in the world, and I continue to be. But I have senior citizens, I have veterans, and they call my office, and they call our offices, and they say, “I have nowhere to live, housing is too expensive.” I met a senior a couple of days ago in his 80s. He still has to work nights as a security guard, and he literally lives in a trailer parked in someone’s backyard. These people call, they’ve lived in this country their whole life, they served our country, and they call for help. And the most we can often do is help get them on a waiting list for Section 8 housing. This is a problem that exists in America right now. 

But if I want to help Israel, if I want to help Taiwan, if I want to help Ukraine, if I want to ban TikTok, I have to vote for spending billions of dollars to give to charity groups so they can fly people around the country here and put them up in hotel rooms, or so they can help resettlement in another country? 

We have rich countries in the Middle East. Their leaders own some of the largest yachts in the world. Some of their leaders own some of the most expensive horses you could possibly buy in the world. They built some of the most extravagant and luxurious resorts on the planet. These are rich countries and strong supporters of the Palestinian cause, as they call it. 

But if I want to help Israel, if I want to help Taiwan, if I want to help Ukraine, if I want to ban TikTok, I have to vote to send American taxpayer money to deal with the catastrophe that’s been created 100 percent by Hamas in Gaza? There was a ceasefire before Hamas crossed over and slaughtered and raped and kidnapped. But now the American taxpayers are on the hook. 

I understand that in our republic, government compromise is necessary. We have to do it all the time. I’ve passed a lot of bills, I’m very proud of that. And every one of them involved me finding someone from a different ideological perspective from the other side of the aisle. And you have to compromise, meaning you’re not going to get everything you want. You’re going to have to give them something they want in exchange for something you want, or you may have to change the way you wrote what you want. That’s what you have to do in order to pass laws. I understand compromise, I do. 

But this bill is not that. This bill is not a compromise. This bill is basically saying that if I don’t agree to drop my demands that the president secure our border, if I don’t agree to spend billions of taxpayer dollars all over the world to resettle people here and in other places in the midst of our own migratory crisis, if I don’t agree to all of that, then Israel and Taiwan and Ukraine do not get the help they need—and that I support—and that TikTok does not get banned. This is not a compromise. This is legislative blackmail, and I will not vote for blackmail.