Wicker Votes Yes For American Safety

National Security Legislation is a Win for Mississippi and America

April 29, 2024

Last week, I voted yes on Congress’ national security bill. The legislation, which has now become law, shows that a huge bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives and Senate still want America to lead in an increasingly dangerous world. To do that, most of its investments will be made here at home.

A group of war criminals leading China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have banded together. They are opposed to everything our great nation stands for. In the past few years, they have started sowing chaos in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. History tells us tyrants take a mile when they are given an inch. This new law can help us counter their aggression – before it reaches our shores.

Helping Friends And Helping Ourselves

The national security measure is unwelcome news for our enemies, but it is a lifeline for the innocent people they are threatening in Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. As the Speaker of the House said, we are sending American bullets, not American men and women, to fight in these nations. We are equipping brave citizens there to defend their own homelands.

Transparency is important, which is why I have supported strict oversight of every weapon we send. Also, we will never write blank checks. Each shipment will be subject to vigorous review. Our allies will continue contributing as well. In fact, when taken as a percent of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranks 14th of all nations providing military assistance to Ukraine.

As we help our friends, we are also helping ourselves. Sometimes, we have to choose between doing what is right and doing what benefits us. I am grateful that this decision does both.

First, this package strengthens our defense industry. The little-known truth is that nearly three-quarters of the funding will employ skilled American workers. Investment will be distributed to manufacturing plants across the nation, including a number in Mississippi, to replenish our armories.

We are also updating our weapons stockpiles. Often, when we ship equipment abroad, we replace it with more advanced models. A case in point: Valiant Ukrainians are wearing down our second-most dangerous foe, Russia. We are giving them tools, which they have used to achieve many battlefield victories. Then, we replace that equipment with better, more up-to-date technology for our military.

Finally, we are projecting strength against our enemies as they become more threatening. China has dramatically increased its military might. Iran and Russia have sparked wars abroad, and North Korea supports them both. World War II taught us to stand up to dictators early. This bill helps accomplish that by getting America prepared for war – so that no one dares start one with us.

Among the numerous ways this legislation boosts our military power, one shines brightest. I fought for, and successfully secured, funding to increase our attack submarine production. These vessels are the crown jewel of our sea power, and the U.S. Navy needs more. They are one of the most significant competitive advantages we have over China’s military. Building more is a no-brainer, especially since American shipbuilders construct them. My satisfaction that this provision became law is matched only by my surprise that it took the Biden administration so long to agree with me.

Prepare For War To Avoid War

I hope the passage of this national security package shows we have learned the lesson of history. Eighty years ago, Pearl Harbor and Normandy became household names because the free world failed to deter the bad guys. This law can show us how to chart a different path today.


# # #