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Kaine Calls for Swift Passage of Supplemental Funding Package to Support National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), called for swift passage of a supplemental funding package to support key national security priorities, including defense assistance for Israel and Ukraine, humanitarian aid for Gaza and Ukraine, support for the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) agreement, and resources to strengthen border security:

“History has shown us that we’re all less safe when the United States sits back and watches as authoritarians invade sovereign nations and terrorist organizations commit horrific attacks against our allies. That’s why it’s critical that we pass this supplemental package to protect our national security and support our partners around the world. The supplemental includes long-term funding for many priorities I’ve advocated for, including aid to Israel and Ukraine, humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, and more resources to implement the Australia-U.K.-U.S. security agreement. I urge my Senate and House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put aside politics and pass this bill as soon as possible. Our national security and the security of our allies depends on it.”

While the Senate works in a bipartisan way to pass government funding bills for Fiscal Year 2024, in accordance with spending levels that were agreed upon earlier this year by the White House and Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress, the supplemental package—which has bipartisan support—would ensure that the United States can allocate the resources needed to respond to new and evolving security situations.

Kaine has advocated for many provisions that are included in the supplemental package.

Israeli Security: Includes funding for Israel’s defense needs, such as resources to replenish Israel’s air and missile defense systems, including the Iron Dome, and resources to enhance U.S. embassy security.

Following the horrific terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas, Kaine has pushed for an aid package to support Israel. He has urged the governments of Egypt and Qatar to provide assistance in securing the release of Americans, Israelis, and others being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas. He has called for the Senate to expedite the confirmations of U.S. Ambassador to Israel nominee Jack Lew, the U.S. ambassador nominees for Egypt and Lebanon, and the State Department’s Counterterrorism Coordinator position.

Humanitarian Assistance for Gaza and Ukraine: Includes funding for humanitarian aid for innocent civilians impacted by the war in Ukraine; the violence in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank; and other natural disasters and emergencies around the world.

Last week, Kaine joined his colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to contribute to the United Nations’ emergency appeal to address humanitarian needs in Gaza and the West Bank.

Helping Ukraine Defend Itself: Provides funding for the transfer of weapons and equipment to Ukraine, replenishment of Department of Defense (DOD) stockpiles, military and intelligence support, and economic and civilian security assistance.

Kaine has been a strong supporter of aid to support Ukraine in the war that resulted from Putin’s invasion.

Australia-U.S.-U.K. (AUKUS) Partnership: Provides support, which Kaine has called for, to strengthen implementation of the AUKUS agreement, in which Australia will purchase Virginia-class submarines and invest in the U.S. submarine industrial base. Maintains the readiness of the Navy’s fleet by providing funding to improve the Navy’s four public shipyards, including Norfolk Naval Shipyard; supports the Submarine Industrial Base to increase production rates and submarine availability; and invests in the submarine industrial base workforce.

Kaine has led efforts to ensure the AUKUS agreement is implemented effectively. Because a significant portion of Virginia-class submarines are built in Hampton Roads, this agreement creates opportunity for further job creation and economic growth in the region. In July, Kaine hosted Australian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Kevin Rudd and U.S. Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven in Hampton Roads to discuss the importance of the AUKUS agreement and tour Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division and Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Kaine secured provisions to implement and strengthen AUKUS in the Senate-passed national defense bill and the SFRC-passed State Department authorization bill.

Border Security: Provides funding to deploy more inspection machines to detect fentanyl at ports of entry at the southwest border and increase law enforcement personnel, immigration judge teams, and asylum officers.

Kaine has called for comprehensive immigration reform that would fortify border security and more funding for resources to combat the fentanyl crisis. Kaine has introduced the bipartisan Disrupt Fentanyl Trafficking Act to direct increased federal attention to fentanyl trafficking by declaring fentanyl trafficking a national security threat, utilizing Pentagon resources like counter-drug intelligence, and involving Mexico as an active partner to combat the crisis. Kaine secured the bill’s inclusion in this year’s Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently in conference committee.