Press Release

Welch: I cannot, in good conscience, support sending billions of additional American taxpayer dollars for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s military campaign in Gaza

Feb 13, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. —After voting against the National Security Supplemental Package this morning, Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) took to the Senate Floor to explain why he could not support sending billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund Prime Minister Netanyahu’s military campaign in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians and created a massive humanitarian crisis. Senator Welch said that while he strongly supports certain aspects of the supplemental, including aid to Ukraine, the crisis caused by the brutal bombing has made Israel and the Middle East less secure.    

Senator Welch also condemned Senate and House Republicans’ sabotage of bipartisan negotiations to pass border security provisions, which were originally demanded by Republicans to earn their support for a national security package—only to be abandoned in favor of preserving a political talking point on immigration. Sen. Welch’s statement on his vote against the bill can be found here

Excerpts of the Senator’s speech are included below:  

“Two million Palestinians have been uprooted from their homes. Those homes have been reduced to rubble. Folks are desperately seeking to survive. They lack adequate food, safe water, or shelter. Many are injured without anything remotely resembling sufficient medical care or shelter.  

“I introduced a resolution cosponsored by 15 of my colleagues urging the administration to dramatically increase access and delivery of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. And I am gratified that the supplemental does include several billions of dollars for that purpose. 

“But despite these provisions that I do support, I voted against the supplemental for one key reason: I cannot in good conscience, support sending billions of additional taxpayer dollars for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s military campaign in Gaza. 

“It’s a campaign that has killed and wounded a shocking number of civilians. It’s created a massive humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. It’s inflamed tensions in the Middle East, eroding support among Arab states that had been aligned with Israel. And of course, it has severely compromised any remaining hope, almost all remaining hope for the two-state solution that we all know is ultimately essential for peace in the Middle East.  

“And this is an opinion that is not just my own, but it’s expressed by a large majority of Vermonters who have contacted me and shared their dismay at the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. 

“During my years in Congress, Mr. President, like you I have voted for tens of billions of dollars in aid for Israel. But I cannot send more taxpayer dollars to support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s continued bombardment and the wholesale destruction of Gaza knowing that the calamity that more U.S. bombs and artillery shells will cause for countless more civilians who had nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with the atrocities that were committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7th.” 

Watch Senator Welch’s full speech here and below:

The Senator’s remarks as delivered can be found here.