Skip to Content

Wyden votes for aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan; Merkley opposes it over military aid to Israel


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Tuesday applauded the passage of legislation to provide Ukraine, Israel, and America’s Indo-Pacific partners with $95 billion in security assistance to support their national defense, including $9.15 billion in lifesaving humanitarian aid, and to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States. 

Fellow Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, however, voted no due to the inclusion of military aid to Israel.

Wyden said: “It is shameful that House Republicans slow-walked vital aid to America’s allies and partners and humanitarian relief for worsening conflicts, but I’m glad it finally will be going to the president’s desk. This measure shows America is still a world leader, and I believe this aid will hasten the end of the wars in Israel and Ukraine.”

“I'm glad that this package also includes the bipartisan FEND OFF Fentanyl Act, which will help our country fight the scourge of fentanyl by disrupting illicit opioid supply chains and sanctioning transnational criminal organizations. Oregonians know that the addiction crisis in our country has reached unprecedented levels, and it's high time that Congress crack down on illicit traffickers."

In response to the TikTok divestment bill that the House attached to the larger package, Wyden cautioned it will do less to protect Americans’ privacy than needed, and warned that the executive branch should carefully exercise the bill’s authority. 

“I have serious concerns about any app that gives unfriendly foreign governments access to Americans' private data, and I believe there is a legitimate security risk caused by TikTok’s relationship to its China-based corporate parent,” Wyden said. “However, I remain concerned that this bill could have negative effects on free speech around the world, does too little to protect Americans’ privacy from being sold to China through third parties, and provides broad authority that could be abused by a future administration to violate Americans’ First Amendment rights. I plan to watchdog how this legislation is implemented, and will blow the whistle if the executive branch oversteps beyond the purpose of the bill.” 

Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement regarding his position on the U.S. Senate’s national security supplemental funding bill:

“This bill has multiple important elements I strongly support, including providing critical aid to Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion. Ukraine is a democratic republic defending itself against an invading authoritarian dictatorship. We must continue to partner with Europe and other allies to stand with the Ukrainian people and sustain the supply of ammunition and weapons Ukraine needs in defense of its democracy. Had the Senate had the opportunity to consider support for Ukraine as a separate bill, as the House did, I would have voted in favor.

“I also support other elements of the bill, including the FEND Off Fentanyl Act to help tackle the flow of fentanyl into our communities, international humanitarian aid, and assistance to strengthen security in the Indo-Pacific.

“I supported Israel going after Hamas following the horrific attack on October 7th and passionately support every effort America and other nations are making to free all hostages. In addition, I support the aid to Israel for defensive weapons including Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Iron Beam.

“The section of this bill I cannot support, however, is the funding and delivery of more offensive military weaponry to Israel at a time when Israel is using American weapons in what President Biden has called an ‘indiscriminate’ campaign of bombing. That campaign has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, including more than 24,000 women and children. It has also pushed Gaza to the brink of famine with 1.1 million Palestinians facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Hamas is Israel’s enemy. Palestinian civilians are not the enemy.

“President Biden has repeatedly and urgently called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to adopt a much more targeted campaign against Hamas and to dramatically expand the supply of food, water, medicine, and shelter needed to address the cascading humanitarian disaster generated by Israel’s campaign. Indeed, American law requires recipients of American assistance to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Netanyahu, however, has made only minor adjustments in response.

“In addition, President Biden has asked Israel not to unleash a ground invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, which has swollen from a pre-war population of 275,000 to more than one million people as it accommodates an enormous flow of refugees from areas bombed to the north. But the Israeli military continues to conduct airstrikes and raids on Rafah, and Netanyahu continues to publicly insist that Israel will launch a military offensive on the city, which will magnify civilian casualties among a population that has nowhere left to go.

“The campaign conducted by the Netanyahu government is at odds with our American values and American law. Thus, I will vote against the supplemental funding bill.”

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content