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Sen. Lee: Remember Our Promise to America

The senior senator from Utah reminds his colleagues that they should not prioritize Ukraine’s border over America’s.

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Credit: WikiMedia Commons

On February 10th, 2024, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) took the Senate floor for four hours to argue against passage of additional funding for the war in Ukraine. The following introduction to his remarks is presented as prepared for delivery.

I rise today because Senate Republicans made a commitment last fall, a commitment to each other and to the American people. 

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That commitment was simple: 

Before we send another dollar to Ukraine, let’s do what we can to force the Biden administration to actually enforce the border.

In truth, we’ve all made commitments like this. Because every single senator serving in this body is committed to this sacred duty. 

We did so implicitly when we raised our hands, as required under Article VI of the Constitution, to take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” 

Well, through the efforts of a faithless few, we are now poised to treat that commitment the same way that President Biden has treated his own solemn oath to protect this country’s borders: expedient, expendable, and expired.  

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Madam President, we cannot send billions of dollars to Ukraine while America’s own borders are bleeding! 

This betrayal is all the more loathsome because it occurs at a time when the eyes of the nation are turned to sport, family, and fun. As well they should be. 

Heaven help us, the people of America should not have to watch us every hour of every day lest their own government stab them in the back. 

What, after all, have they done to deserve such untrustworthy public servants? 

What grudge does this body hold against the very people who elected us and pay our salaries? 

Today, we witness the tragic dominance of what President Eisenhower, one of our nation’s great patriots and great generals, called the “military-industrial complex.” 

This machine, to be clear, was not built by our brave men and women in uniform who pledge their very lives every day for our safety and independence. 

Nor was it built by every contractor, every person or entity out there that supplies our men and women in uniform with weapons and cutting-edge technology that they need to protect the United States against our adversaries. 

I speak of a machine forged by those who make a business out of bloodshed, and politicians in Washington and across the world who make bloodshed their business.

All of this, at the expense of our freedom, our honor, and our self-determination. 

Now, make no mistake, I’m under no illusion that my time here today will itself be sufficient to jam the gears of this machine, nor is it likely to stifle the anthems of those who worship it.

But I intend to give an account of how, in this instance like so many others, its acolytes have consumed resources meant for the security and welfare of our own people, to continue violence among people far away, with whom we are not at war, and from whose suffering we will gain no victory. 

And perhaps, if I can sketch a blueprint of how this infernal engine functions today, future generations may well succeed in loosening its screws, cutting off its stolen fuel, and letting the whole corrupt bargain come crashing finally to the ground.

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