As the United Nations (UN) called for a ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza, a group of conservatives gathered in Beaufort County, South Carolina to recognize the leadership of United States senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The critical topic of foreign policy overshadowed both proceedings.
Blackburn — the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee — is actively campaigning for reelection against two Democratic rivals trailing in the polls, according to the latest numbers from Beacon Poll. In addition to the ongoing race, the incumbent is rumored to be a potential vice presidential candidate for Donald Trump in his 2024 presidential campaign.
Last Friday (October 27, 2023), Blackburn was granted the Robert Smalls Leadership Award during a bi-annual dinner named after the same Civil War-era slave turned emancipated politician. Approximately 120 associates of the Beaufort County Republican Party (BCRP) — including S.C. first district congresswoman Nancy Mace — joined the 71-year-old for her exclusive ceremony.
Among the sponsors for this year’s program, the BCRP highlighted S.C. Senator Tim Scott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — two presidential candidates rejected by Blackburn when she endorsed Trump in April. She remains an unwavering supporter of the former president and his ‘American First’ foreign policy despite contentions within some corners of the GOP.
FITSNews spoke exclusively with Blackburn moments before the UN adopted a non-binding resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The symbolic gesture was presented by approximately 50 countries and approved by 120 nations with 45 nations abstaining. A total of 14 countries voted against the resolution for peace — including the United States and Israel.
“I’m very pro-Israel,” said Blackburn prior to the award ceremony. “Israel is the democracy in the Middle East. They’re one of our oldest and closest allies and we have made that commitment to stand with them… President Trump made certain that our allies knew they were our allies, and that our enemies feared us.”
In recent weeks, Blackburn has lambasted U.S. president Joe Biden’s massive $106 billion defense request to Congress. The proposal loops funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and intensified security at the U.S.-Mexico border. Much to his chagrin, the comprehensive request did not garner bipartisan support among conservatives.
“What we’re trying to do is the right thing … which is to break this apart and take each issue separately,” she said. “Bear in mind, Israel has not asked for troops. What they’ve asked for is additions and plus-ups to the Iron Dome, to David’s Sling — for the defensive and offensive items that are needed in a battle.”
The senator argues that $14.3 billion in federal assistance to Israel should not be leveraged by an additional $61.4 billion to Ukraine. Last week, she introduced legislation to limit funding for the UN while filing a stand-alone bill to supply Israel directly — so as not to subsidize “terrorist” organizations, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS.
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FITSNews asked Blackburn whether or not American’s should anticipate another $6 trillion war on terrorism — the unofficial and growing cost of a global counterterrorism campaign initiated by the U.S. over twenty years ago.
“All of it falls on the taxpayer,” she added. “That is why people are asking to break it up, have a proper discussion, meet the needs, make certain that we are protecting our nation and sovereignty, make sure that we are meeting our obligations to our allies but being good stewards of the taxpayers money.”
Since World War II, the U.S. has provided more federal assistance to Israel than any other country — eclipsing $317.9 billion last year, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Moreover, the United States is currently $33.6 trillion in debt after running a $1.7 trillion budget deficit in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2023.
“So, you know what, let’s take our time,” she concluded. “Let’s do this right.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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