Ukraine, Israel, the border … all of the above
As a conservative, I am very wary of throwing more money at problems … especially by the wasteful and corruption-prone federal government doing things it was never intended to do. Currently, Washington is addressing three funding projects – Putin’s dirty little war in Ukraine, Hamas (and other) terrorism in the Middle East and the utter collapse of the southern border, with record numbers crossing.
The first thing we must understand is that all three of these situations are absolutely the responsibility of the federal government’s obligation to protect the security of the United States from foreign aggressors. Russia and Hamas are aggressive enemies of America. That is obvious. The border being overrun by hundreds of thousands of migrants is resulting in the expansion of the drug problem, deadly and other crimes against American citizens, and the destructive chaos crushing local government and social infrastructure. The question is: Do these three issues involve the security of the United States? Well, duh!
If Putin were to win – keeping even the lands his military currently occupies – he would gain strategic ground, enormous new natural and food resources, an expansion of international influence and power, and a platform upon which to extend his empire building ambitions further. A victory over an American ally is a victory over America.
Israel is the only true American ally in the Middle East. It is the foundation of American leverage. It fights against Hamas is a key component of America’s and its allies’ war against world terrorism. The tentacles of international anti-American terrorism come from primarily two sources – Iran and Afghanistan. The Hamas War is not limited to Israel. Iranian controlled terrorist groups in Syria and Yemen are attacking American military personnel and assets on a daily basis – almost 100 such attacks so far. We need to take the terrorist mantra – “death to Israel, death to America” — seriously.
The Democrats’ open border policies have resulted in millions of unqualified asylum seekers entering the United States illegally. According to officials, 80 percent of those entering are not eligible for asylum – and should be either prevented from entering or expeditiously deported. Even worse, the broken immigration system enables the ineligible border crossers to remain in America for years even before their bogus request can be considered. Over the years, millions of illegal aliens have remained in America permanently by evading the system. Hundreds of thousands have been so-called “got-aways” – people who are beyond the knowledge of authorities. The border is an international problem because thousands of those entering are NOT coming from poverty stricken Central and South American nations, but from nations all over the world, including enemy and adversarial states. People on the terrorist watch list have been intercepted – and it would be foolish to think a lot of bad dudes were not among them. The open border is one of the gateways for drug and sex slave traffickers.
Funding the fight(s)
With all three of these situations being international threats to American security and leadership, it is incumbent on Washington to handle them. That means funding the fights. The United States not only has a need to defeat Russia, terrorists and defend the border, it is an existential moral and Constitutional obligation.
The debate over funding has two elements. Can we afford to fund all three crises? And how, legislatively, should we do that?
There is no doubt that the United States has the financial resources to fund all three problems. It is just a matter of prioritizing. Republicans would like to see cuts in other areas to compensate for the money. That seems to be the most responsible position, although Democrats see taxation or borrowing as the preferred means. Nothing new there.
Anyone who does not think that there is not enough waste and misapplication (fraud) in federal government spending to pay for all three projects is simply not in touch with reality.
Ironically, there seems to be bipartisan support for funding all three situations – to a greater or lesser degree. So, what is the holdup? Political gamesmanship.
Republicans want to fund all three projects simultaneously. Democrats seem willing to fund Ukraine and Israel as a package but border security as a separate measure. The reason is obvious – and the Republicans know the reason. Democrats do not want to make more than a symbolic funding of the border. They do not want to stop the overflow by securing the border but rather more efficiently process the admission of illegal border crossers. More social workers. More money for housing and welfare. More immigration judges. Not more guards and physical barriers. Republicans want to restore the policy whereby asylum seeker apply in their homeland or in the nation of the first border they cross. Biden ended that practice.
Republicans in Congress know that if they fund Ukraine and Israel separately, they will never get real border security from Democrats. They also know that funding Ukraine and Israel is necessary – and they support it. But they see this as the only opportunity to get real border security legislation through Congress and signed by President Biden.
While the media narrative suggests that Republicans do not want to fund Ukraine at all, that may be true of small factions on both sides. The majority of members of Congress are all in on funding Ukraine and Israel – and that will happen. It is only a procedural question as to which side prevails. Separate Ukraine and Israel funding or funding all three.
If Democrats were sincere in the claims to want to secure the border, the simultaneous funding would be a slam dunk – as it should be. It would be the easiest and most expeditions way.
Keep in mind that the failure to pass so-called immigration reform since the Reagan presidency has one primary cause. Democrats do not want to do it. The historic stalemate has been over the question of addressing immigration in a comprehensive piece of legislation or to handle it piecemeal. Democrats’ symbolism-only approach to border security – and their myopic interest in only expediting the process — has been the legislative poison pill for more than 40 years. And is again today.
So, there ‘tis.