MYNORTHWEST POLITICS

Rep. Adam Smith: Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan ‘have waited way too long’ for U.S. aid

Apr 19, 2024, 12:20 PM | Updated: 12:27 pm

ukraine israel u.s. aid...

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (Photo courtesy of The Office of Rep. Adam Smith)

(Photo courtesy of The Office of Rep. Adam Smith)

In a bipartisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a key foreign aid package affecting funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Friday. This sets the legislation up for a final vote as soon as Saturday.

The move will cause issues for House Speaker Mike Johnson, as far-right Republicans in the House are threatening his job over the issue of funding Ukraine. On Seattle’s Morning News Friday, Travis Mayfield and Colleen O’Brien were joined by Democrat U.S. Representative Adam Smith, who wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s frustrated at his colleagues who are threatening Johnson’s job, but did state the delays in this aid package have gone on long enough.

More from Rep. Adam Smith: Israel-Hamas war and the ‘impossible nature of the situation’

“The thing that has been frustrating is the overwhelming majority of the House, Democrats and a majority of Republicans, for that matter, support the funding,” Smith said. “And yet House leadership has refused to give us a vote on it for months and months and months because they have been bowing to the wishes of this small vocal minority that opposes it.

“We have waited way too long. Ukraine is up against a wall right now,” Smith continued. “Russia has them outgunned five-to-one because the help hasn’t gotten there. I hope that the help gets there just in time. But the months that we’ve waited to do this, because House Republican leadership was unwilling to allow the will of the majority to work, is really been costly to Ukraine.”

Turning to the Middle East, Israel finally responded to Iran’s weekend missile and drone attack by striking an air base near the city of Isfahan. Between Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, and now its conflict with Iran, many fear the start of a potential new World War if cooler heads cannot prevail. Smith said we’re in a dangerous time and wouldn’t rule out another global conflict.

“It could go that way very easily if just a couple more mistakes are made,” Smith said. “But I’ll go ahead and give at least a somewhat optimistic picture on this. Iran doesn’t want to go to war with Israel, and Israel doesn’t want to go to war with Iran. None of this means they couldn’t stumble into one. But it gives us a path.”

More from Colleen O’Brien: Female oncologist gives advice for women choosing a doctor

He believes what could turn things around is if peace can be found with the Palestinian people — a lofty goal sought by many U.S. presidents and world leaders for decades.

“That’s what we’re working towards and if that path happens, I think we can step back from the brink of that wider Middle East war that could possibly create an even larger war,” Smith said.

For the entire conversation with Rep. Adam Smith, listen to the April 19 Seattle’s Morning News podcast.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Rep. Adam Smith: Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan ‘have waited way too long’ for U.S. aid