Tim Scott, who supports aid to Israel and Ukraine, opposes a package with both | ET REALITY


Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said Sunday he would not support a request by President Biden for an aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan and funding for border security, even though he has backed U.S. spending for each of those. purposes.

“I think leveraging the challenges of war with Israel to get more assistance for Ukraine at that $60 billion level is too much, and we should focus solely on rallying Congress to support support for Israel,” Scott said. , Republican candidate for 2024, said in “This Week” on ABC News.

At first, he indicated that his objection was primarily about the possibility of delaying aid to Israel by combining it with funding over which Congress is more divided. He said he believed aid to Israel alone “would be approved overnight” and that a “piecemeal” package would be more difficult to pass.

But when interviewer Jonathan Karl asked him if he would actually vote against the package if it came to the Senate floor, Scott said yes.

“I will do it in the current version,” he said, adding that a “longer process” was needed to debate how much aid to send to Ukraine. “Israel is at the beginning of a long, protracted war,” she said. “I think we are much better off, better served as a nation, by focusing our resources and our attention immediately on Israel, and continuing to provide the kind of level of accountability and responsibility that the American people want to see when it comes to resources for Ukraine.”

His campaign did not elaborate on his comments and pointed to a CNN interview in which he said much the same thing, criticizing the package for including “more money for Ukraine than for Israel.”

The request Biden submitted to Congress on Friday included about $61 billion for Ukraine; 14 billion dollars for Israel; $7 billion for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies; $9 billion for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza; and 14 billion dollars for border security in the United States.

Scott is not the only Republican who opposes putting those pieces into a single package, an effort by the Biden administration to pressure lawmakers who oppose funding Ukraine to support the proposal in favor of funding Israel, and vice versa. .

Vivek Ramaswamy, another Republican presidential candidate, denounced the proposal. at a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday. Ramaswamy has long opposed aid to Ukraine and said at the event that Israel’s military objectives in Gaza were unclear and that helping Israel would risk a broader conflict in the Middle East.

But Mr. Scott’s rejection of the package is notable because he is on record as supporting all of the components.

He has been one of the most outspoken Republican candidates in favor of helping Ukraine repel the Russian invasion: accused Mr. Biden last year for “waiting too much to provide too little support,” and has described a Ukrainian victory as a matter of American interest, arguing that it would discourage a Russian incursion into NATO territory that would drag the United States into a broader war. He has supported sending weapons to Taiwan. And, in the same Sunday interview in which he rejected the package, he called for funding to secure the United States’ southern border.

Nearly the entire Republican presidential field has backed military aid to Israel, but candidates are divided on aid to Ukraine: In addition to Ramaswamy, former President Donald J. Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have said they want to cut it. . However, only a few have expressed their positions on Biden’s proposal.

Among them is former Vice President Mike Pence, who told NBC News on Sunday that he supported aid to Israel and Ukraine “together or separately.”

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