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Turner ‘cautiously optimistic’ on Israel aid package

By Jake Beardslee · October 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Rep. Turner supports $105B aid package for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and border
  • Views Russia as major threat to US and allies
  • Acknowledges dysfunction over Speaker vote is national security threat
  • Has supported multiple candidates for Speaker, hopes consensus is reached soon
Rep. Mike Turner with former Israeli president Reuvin Rivlin. Turner discussed supporting military aid packages, viewing Russia as a threat, the dysfunction over the Speaker vote, and his openness to multiple Speaker candidates.  Mark Neyman / Government Press Office/Wikimedia

Washington D.C. - Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke with CNN about the ongoing conflicts in Israel and Gaza. Turner stated that while negotiations for aid and hostage releases should continue, “the United States should not be dictating to Israel the prosecution of this conflict.”

When asked if he supported the Biden Administration’s proposed $105 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the southern border, Turner responded “I do support the package. I think it’s incredibly important that we move forward to make certain that we stand up against the authoritarian regimes that are trying to undermine democracies that are our allies.”

Turner went on to say that he believes the U.S. needs to view Russia as more of a threat, stating “This is not just an issue of Ukraine or not Ukraine. This is an issue of Russia as our adversary, and they intend to do us and our allies harm.”

Regarding the ongoing fight to elect a Speaker of the House, Turner admitted “Clearly, having a house that’s not functioning is certainly a security threat for our country.” However, he doesn’t believe the aid package is being hindered yet, noting “The Senate has taken up this aid package. It looks like it’ll be about two weeks before that package comes out of the Senate itself. And certainly we all hope we’ll have a speaker by then.”

When asked if he had a preferred candidate for Speaker, Turner responded “I supported Kevin McCarthy, I supported Jim Jordan, I supported Scalise, I supported Jim on the floor.”

Turner concluded by acknowledging Congress often appears “clownish”, stating “I’m very fond of saying that Congress is a lot like high school, but even more so. So hopefully we’ll get past this. And, you know, I certainly have been part of the governing majority, and I’m going to stay part of that and look forward to those who are on the fringes, hopefully coming together so that we can get a speaker.”