October 31, 2023

Manchin Questions U.S. Secretaries of Defense and State on U.S. Military Support for Ukraine and Israel, Securing U.S. Border

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on the importance of providing military aid for Israel, our commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russia’s war, and the need to secure the U.S. border.

On U.S. military support for Ukraine and Israel:

“First of all, we know that Ukraine can't succeed without our support, can Israel succeed without our support? Israel’s military is very advanced and we have brought Ukraine up to speed so they are able to fight against Russia… Are we producing enough ammunition to protect our homeland as well as our allies?” Senator Manchin questioned. 

On the U.S. commitment to helping Ukraine win against Russia:

“I also want to talk about our commitment to win when our track record hasn't been too good with Vietnam and Afghanistan. For Ukraine, are we committed to staying with this to win? I believe our support for Ukraine is the most honorable position we’ve ever taken in my lifetime. We need to be committed to playing the role of defender of freedom and liberties. When you have a country willing to risk their own lives and put their own people on the line, the least we can do is support them,” Senator Manchin continued.

On the need to secure the U.S. border:

“When you hear all of my Republican colleagues talking about how important is to secure our own borders, I want you to know this is a bipartisan issue. I am concerned about our borders for the people of West Virginia. And I want to make sure that you understand that we will do anything and everything humanly possible to secure the borders of the United States of America,” Senator Manchin stated.

A video of Senator Manchin questioning the witnesses is available here. 

A timeline of Senator Manchin's work to support Ukraine against Putin's invasion is available here.

Following the launch of Hamas’ unprecedented attack,  Senator Manchin supported several resolutions and legislation in support of Israel’s security, including:

  • Senator Manchin and his Senate colleagues unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution that reaffirms the United States’ support of Israel and its right to self-defense. Additionally, the resolution condemns Hamas’ war on Israel and Iran’s support of global terrorism.
  • Along with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Manchin introduced legislation to block Iran from accessing the $6 billion in funds that the Biden administration released in August.
  • The Senator and his colleagues introduced the Revoke Iranian Funding Act to rescind the general licenses that authorized the release of $6 billion to Iran and prevent the Iranian regime from accessing and using the funds held in Qatar to finance terrorist attacks against Israel or any other nation.
  • After Senator Manchin’s inquiry, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now allowing visa-free travel for eligible Israeli citizens and nationals through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization. 
  • Senator Manchin and over 100 of his colleagues sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Brian Nelson, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, raising grave concerns about reports that in the months leading up to their brutal October 7th terrorist attack on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) raised millions of dollars via crypto, evading U.S. sanctions to fund their operations.
  • Senator Manchin sent a bipartisan letter urging U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make it the official policy of the United States to freeze $6 billion in Iranian assets in the wake of Hamas’s deadly terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023.