Anti-War Protestors Disrupt Antony Blinken’s US Senate Hearing

( – Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on October 31. Anti-war protestors, many from an organization called CODEPINK, interrupted Blinken while he advocated for the passage of President Joe Biden’s National Security package, which includes funding to support Israel, Ukraine, and humanitarian aid.

By turns, protestors stood to interrupt Blinken, demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza war or a halt to Israeli funding. Security personnel led disruptive protestors away, expelling them from the chambers. Meanwhile, silent protestors sat in the gallery, holding up hands painted blood-red or signs calling for a Gaza ceasefire or an end to funding for Israel.

Once he could continue uninterrupted, Blinken argued that the $105 billion package was all part of the same fight against global instability. He warned that enemies of the US and its allies would recognize efforts to pull pieces off of the proposal and respond by striking in places devoid of funding, creating “an even greater threat” to US and allied security interests.

Austin agreed, adding that without US support, Ukraine would fall victim to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to annex “his neighbor’s sovereign territory.” Austin was likely referring to new House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) plan to separate appropriations for allies like Israel and Ukraine, balancing what the government agrees to send with equal budget cuts.

Last week, Johnson proposed standalone legislation to appropriate $14.3 billion to support Israeli defense by cutting IRS funding by an equal measure. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the plan a “non-starter” and chastised the new Speaker for attempting to politicize national security interests.

In a statement during the Senate committee meeting acknowledging the highly charged emotions surrounding current events, Blinken reminded lawmakers and the audience in the gallery that everyone remained “committed to the protection of civilian life” and understood the suffering conflicts were inflicting on many. Yet, he pointed out that the US remained honor-bound to stand with its allies.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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