Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Capito’s floor speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, delivered remarks on the Senate Floor in full support of Israel, and in total condemnation of terrorists attacks perpetrated on the country by Hamas.
Senator Capito has been committed to supporting Israel in the face of these terrorist attacks. This week, Senator Capito cosponsored a bill that would freeze the $6 billion that the Biden administration sent to Iran, joined with 98 other senators in a bipartisan resolution signaling steadfast U.S. support for Israel, and joined a letter led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) calling on the Biden administration to do everything in their power to rescue American hostages taken by Hamas.
Senator Capito’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“I rise today in full and total support of one of our most steadfast allies, Israel. I also stand here today to strongly condemn the terrorist attacks perpetrated on Israel by Hamas.
“Since the initial attack on October 7th, we have lost thirty-one American citizens, other Americans remain unaccounted for or are being held as hostages, more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and countless families have been left without a home and without their loved ones.
“This is an unacceptable tragedy and recalls far too familiar memories of terrorist attacks in our own nation’s history.
“We remember vividly the devastating and hostile tactics that ISIS deployed, and can clearly see the parallels between their terroristic actions and the wrath that Hamas is now perpetrating.
“Now is the time to unabashedly and unapologetically stand with Israel. It’s also the time to support Israel’s right to defend themselves and their people.
“The United States and Israel have a long history of demonstrating a mutual respect and allegiance to one another.
“This dates back to 1948 when President Truman became the first world leader to recognize ‘The Jewish State.’ Since then, Israel has displayed unmatched loyalty and provided critical support to our country in the Middle-East.
“Israel has stood alongside us in our darkest hours, and now – as friends do – we will do the same for them.
“It is imperative that Congress takes action now and provides the support that Israel needs in the face of these terrorist attacks. Both to properly defend themselves, and to provide the humanitarian resources needed for those whose lives have been decimated by a group that shows no mercy towards civilians, many of whom are women and children.
“Our country must do all that is within our power to rescue American hostages and return them to safety. This has to be met with increased urgency, time is simply of the essence, especially for hostages in severe need of medical attention.
“We must also make certain that the $6 billion in frozen assets that the Biden administration planned to send to Iran in September remains frozen. Not to mention, the Biden administration made the announcement that they would release these assets to Iran on September 11 of this year.
“Additionally, it is imperative that the Biden Administration finally strengthens and further enforces U.S. sanctions on the Iranian regime, which is raking in billions of dollars from illicit oil sales. It’s past time to get tough on Iranian oil and to stop allowing the regime to skirt U.S. sanctions.
“Iran is selling roughly 1.4 billion barrels of oil per day this year and using those proceeds to fund the murderous actions of terrorist groups throughout the region, not to mention their own military.
“It should surprise no one that Iran, the world leader in State Sponsored Terrorism, was heavily involved in this attack and that they continue to support the unjustifiable actions of Hamas.
“The leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have put forth a resolution, of which I am an original cosponsor and support strongly, that declares that Congress stands with Israel, reaffirms Israel’s right to self-defense, condemns Hamas and Iran, and calls on the Biden administration to further impose sanctions on Iran.
“With the support of ninety-nine senators, once passed, this will send a nearly unanimous message to the world that actions of terrorism and violence will not go unpunished.
“I have been encouraged by President Biden’s response following the attacks on Israel.
“However, President Biden’s time in office has been defined by a level of passiveness and ambiguity that has emboldened our adversaries, and has lacked the strength that is required of a world superpower.
“That being said, this is not the time to quarrel amongst ourselves. One of our strongest allies is under attack and a nation as strong as ours must display a united front as we call these attacks on Israel exactly what they are: acts of terrorism.
“There is no doubt that the continued assault on Israel creates a seismic shift in our foreign policy. Just a few weeks ago on this very floor, I warned about the uneasy closeness that was cultivating between our adversaries.
“Nations that shun our values and reject democracy are finding refuge with each other and stand in direct opposition to our ideals and way of life.
“The connection between countries like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea cannot be ignored, and only further underscore the importance of strengthening our own military capabilities.
“Providing military aid for Israel will serve to not only reinforce our ally, but will also invest directly back into our own defense and will serve to reenergize our defense industrial base by restoring the arsenal of democracy that defines our leadership in the United States of America.
“Moving forward, we must act decisively, and lead in the way that America has done before in times of emergency. This is the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. We have the capacity and obligation to defend our allies as they face unjustified aggression from adversaries.
“These attacks on Israel are brutal beyond comprehension, and have led to the slaying of innocent families, women, and children.
“It is incumbent upon us to show steadfast support for Israel, and reiterate how military aid from the United States is in the best interest of both of our nations.
“The world is watching, and expecting, the United States to lead. I encourage my colleagues to recognize the magnitude of this moment, and to join together in our unwavering support of Israel.
“With that, I yield the floor.”
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