(CNSNews.com) – The United States is helping Ukraine defend itself, and it must do the same for Taiwan, all while supporting Israel’s defense, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-N.J.) told “Fox News Sunday.”
Cardin said the U.S. must speed up delivery of the weapons it has promised to send Taiwan to deter an invasion by China, which is now doing mock invasion drills around the island.
“We got to give Taiwan the ability to defend themselves,” Cardin said:
“So I hope that we will find a way to get to Taiwan exactly what they need. Look, we believe in a One-China Policy, but we also believe that mainland China cannot try to take Taiwan over by force.
“We have a lot of tools in our tool kit that we can use to make that a reality. But bottom line is, that we have to make sure Taiwan has what it needs to defend itself. I agree, we have to — we have to train. We have to make equipment available.
“The experiences from Ukraine show us that if we give them capacity, they have the will that China will, I think, re-judge, or reconsider their strategies on trying to take over the island by force.”
Later in the interview, Cardin said something similar about Israel, which was pounded last week by rocket attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“How worried are you about the current tensions in that region?” host Shannon Bream asked Cardin:
“I am very worried,” he said:
“We recognize that Israel still has mortal enemies that are there. The circumstances with Iran’s activities in the surrounding countries, the attacks coming from both Syria and Lebanon into Israel, these are all major concerns.
“And Israel is defending itself. United States stands with Israel and its ability to defend its sovereignty. We know that there are controversial issues within Israel. We urge them to resolve those issues.
“But make no mistake about it: The United States is firmly with Israel and its right to defend itself, and we will do everything we can to help in that regard.”
Host Shannon Bream asked Cardin how the United States can supply both Ukraine and Taiwan with weapons while keeping its own inventories filled in an increasingly dangerous world.
“How do we manage these competing obligations knowing that China probably senses that deficit there and there could be other conflicts to arise around the world?” she asked the senator.
“I think the first thing we need to do,” Cardin said, “is to pass a budget for the next fiscal year and do a bipartisan budget that’s strong on our national defense, that replenishes our supply chain so that we have the military equipment we need to take care of our own internal security issues as well as help the Ukrainians and the Taiwanese deal with their security commitments.
“That means, let’s put aside the politics of this debt ceiling, let’s increase it to where it needs to be.
“Let’s get together and negotiate a budget that’s strong on our national defense because we do have commitments around the world for our national security. And the best thing we can do is get a budget approved in an orderly process and not threaten the full faith and credit of the United States.”
Although House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met once with President Joe Biden two months ago to discuss the debt ceiling, nothing has happened since then.
The Biden White House insists that Republicans unconditionally agree to lift the borrowing limit to cover bills already incurred. But Republicans, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, want Democrats to agree to future spending reductions.
“Well, I do think we need to negotiate,” Cardin said.
“There’s no question. But negotiate the budget for the next fiscal year that starts October 1. We shouldn’t negotiate whether we are going to pay our bills for what we’ve already spent. That’s what the debt ceiling is about. We’ve increased it in the past without any of this debate and drama.
“Let’s get the debt ceiling extended and then sit down before October 1, negotiate a budget which will not be the president’s budget. It won’t be the Republicans’ budget. It won’t be the Senate budget.
“It will be a budget that’s negotiated between the House and Senate, the Congress and the administration. That’s what we need to do. That’s how Congress works best. But don’t do it on the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is the full faith and credit of the United States. That should be beyond any question.”
In a March 28 letter to McCarthy wrote, “With each passing day, I am incredibly concerned that you are putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending alongside an increase in the debt limit.
McCarthy said the White House is “putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending alongside an increase of the debt limit.”
McCarthy said he is “prepared to sit down to discuss” ways of reducing the national debt, but the White House has so far shown no inclination to do so.
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