Secretaries Blinken and Austin defended the administration’s Israel policy at a hearing interrupted by antiwar protestors.

by Connor Echols, Responsible Statecraft

The Biden administration’s funding request for Israel and Ukraine will be a boon for the American economy, argued Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a high profile hearing on Tuesday.

“When we send our friends munitions from our stockpiles, the money to replenish our supplies strengthens our military readiness, and we invest in American industry and American workers,” Austin told the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Some $50 billion of this supplemental request would flow through our defense industrial base, creating American jobs in more than 30 states.”

antony blinken stands at a podium talking

The argument has become central to the Biden administration’s messaging in recent weeks as it seeks Republican support for its $105 billion request to fund aid for Ukraine and Israel; disaster relief; and border security.

It is unclear whether the “jobs” argument has convinced Ukraine aid skeptics in the House, who have pushed for greater restrictions on future funding. But it resonated with many senators on the Appropriations Committee, who applauded the potential investment in America’s economy and defense industrial base.

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