New York Post

How House Republicans Can Hold Biden Accountable for His Foreign-Policy Blunders

Senior Fellow and Director, Keystone Defense Initiative
Chairman of Advancing American Freedom
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine aid in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 13, 2024. (Jim Watson via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine aid in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 13, 2024. (Jim Watson via Getty Images)

On Sunday, Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News that he’ll call a vote in the House on an improved National Defense Supplemental that supplies crucial aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The legislation will test the slim and consistently volatile Republican House majority. The GOP needs to make sure to pass it — and prevent President Biden from blaming his own foreign-policy failures on them. For four years, the Trump-Pence administration’s policies effectively thwarted authoritarian aggression abroad by standing in the breach with Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Since the Biden-Harris administration took the helm and surrendered in Afghanistan, Russia invaded Ukraine, Iran backed the most devastating assault on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and the Chinese Communist Party is telegraphing that its invasion of Taiwan is closer than ever, as it takes more Pacific islands from the Philippines. The Biden administration has overseen 11 embassy evacuations, a clear picture of the dissipating US influence abroad.

China is extending its tentacles into the Western Hemisphere through TikTok and engaging in increasingly belligerent and outright aggressive military actions against US allies. And fearful of backlash among voters in swing states, the Biden administration is now wavering in its commitment to Israel. The geopolitical effects of the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, which outsourced the security of the evacuation perimeter to the Taliban and resulted in the deaths of 13 American servicemembers, is only beginning to be realized.

Afghanistan has quickly become another hotbed for ISIS-K scheming. And the way the withdrawal also surrendered rare-earth minerals, the Bagram Air Force Base and billions of dollars’ worth of US weapons to America’s enemies. With many national crises happening all at once and his administration’s failure to request a sufficient defense budget, Biden must now beg Congress for billions of dollars in an emergency supplemental national-security bill. And Republicans have so far let him use that to point the finger at them, even though the crises happened on his watch.

Thanks to opposition to increased military spending and a loud minority of Republicans who claim to be “antiwar,” the administration claims it is Republicans who are weak on defense and who’ve abandoned America’s rightful role in world affairs — not the president. While this new authoritarian axis of China, Russia, Iran and North Korea is strengthening, an isolationist “antiwar” wing of the Republican Party — which looks a lot more like its Leftist Code Pink fellow-travelers than “peace through strength” Reagan Republicans — seems intent on taking credit for Biden’s chaos, letting the president and his incompetent foreign policy off the hook, while simultaneously leaving our allies out to dry. Republican leadership should resist the pressures of the Code Pink Republicans and pass a national-security supplemental complete with the kinds of improvements Speaker Johnson alluded to.

In addition to the necessary weapons and policy improvements to the Senate-passed bill, the House version could include new ways to cut off the Russian war machine and free American energy from the Biden administration’s burdensome regulations.The world is becoming a more dangerous place. China recently announced a defense budget increase of over 7%.

Biden’s defense-spending ask would result in a mere 1% uptick, effectively his fourth consecutive cut when accounting for rampant inflation. Deterring our adversaries and supporting allies is the most cost-effective way to regain US  strength and influence amid increasing threats and chaos. Congress should not add to the chaos and accelerate America’s decline.

Instead, Speaker Johnson should lead the House to join the Senate to make America’s allies and our military stronger, while consistently holding the White House accountable for its incoherence and lack of resolve. A carefully crafted national-security bill would provide Ukraine with the resources it needs to beat back Russia, resupply Israel in its proxy wars against Iran and arm Taiwan, as part of the effort by the United States and its allies to ward of Chinese Communist Party aggression. A conservative framework would restrain the Biden administration from hamstringing Israel and insist that there be a plan for Ukraine to win the war, and not merely fight and eventually lose a long, protracted war of attrition.

By standing with Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, Congress can strengthen American security and hold the Biden administration’s foreign-policy failures accountable.

Read in the New York Post.