Sen. Scott Presses Sec. Blinken on Israel, Admin’s Weakness Toward Adversaries

“When you show weakness anywhere, it affects strength everywhere.”

WASHINGTON — At today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on American diplomacy and global leadership, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Biden administration’s withholding of critical munitions from Israel, decision to grant sanctions waivers to Iran, and overall posture of weakness toward America’s adversaries.

Watch Senator Scott’s full exchange with Secretary Blinken.

“One of the challenges I see around the world right now is it seems like the world is on fire, in part because of our administration – the Biden administration. You think about the fact that China stares across the Taiwan Strait, the Kremlin sets its sights further west, or Iran comes out of the shadows and starts attacking our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel,” said Senator Scott. “You think about the fact that, in the Sahel, terrorism seems to be spreading faster than ever before. And to me it just seems very clear that, without question, the weakness of this administration emboldens our adversaries.”

“Frankly, there should be no daylight between Israel and America, [but] it seems like there is a lot of daylight,” he continued. Speaking on the administration’s recent decision to delay the sale of JDAM guidance kits to Israel, the senator said, “If we’re concerned about saving innocent lives, it seems like to me we would provide the resources that make ‘dumb bombs’ smart [with] the precision technology that has been held up.”

“When you show weakness anywhere, it affects strength everywhere. When you have a botched Afghanistan challenge, when the president says that a small incursion in Ukraine might be acceptable, [and] he says to Putin that here’s a list of areas not to cyberattack… [That] weakness in posture, I think, emboldens our adversaries… From my perspective most of the world, really respects strength, and that’s about all they respect,” Senator Scott continued.

Watch Senator Scott’s full exchange with Secretary Blinken here.


In the 118th Congress, Senator Scott has been a leader in pushing for a tougher U.S. posture toward Iran and its proxies and unequivocally supporting our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, by:

  • Introducing a resolution that condemns any action by the Biden administration to withhold or restrict weapons for Israel;
  • Demanding that President Biden strongly oppose the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) efforts to politically target Israel;
  • Introducing a resolution reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense and condemning recent statements from U.S. lawmakers, which interfere in Israel’s sovereign electoral process;
  • Leading a group of Republican senators in calling on the Biden administration to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting following a report showing Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity tripled by the end of last year;
  • Championing S. Res. 417, a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in the wake of the October 7th attack, which passed the Senate with near unanimous support;
  • Voting in support of the FY24 NDAA, which included numerous provisions to increase U.S. security cooperation with Israel;
  • Meeting with victims of Hamas and members of victims’ families, hearing first-hand about the brutality inflicted by Hamas on innocent civilians, including innocent children;
  • Supporting the Israel Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023, which would provide $14.3 billion of aid to Israel;
  • Authoring the Stop Support for Hamas Act with Senator Ricketts to cut U.S. funding for UNRWA and prevent bilateral U.S. assistance from winding up in the hands of Hamas terrorists;
  • Introducing the Preventing Terrorism at the U.N. Act to restrict U.S. funding to the United Nations until UNRWA is abolished; and
  • Voting against and condemning Senator Bernie Sanders’ anti-Israel resolution.

In his capacity as Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over economic sanctions, Senator Scott has led the charge in pushing back on the Biden administration’s disturbing pattern of sanctions non-enforcement and sanctions relief to Iran, which have made funds more accessible for the Iranian regime and its terror proxies to attack U.S. servicemembers and our allies. His efforts include:

  • Pushing for passage of his Solidify Iran Sanctions Act, which passed the House by a vote of 407-16. This timely, commonsense bill would extend sanctions on funding for Iran’s energy and weapons sectors and curtail the regime’s ability to develop its nuclear program and finance destabilizing activities;
  • Calling on the Treasury Department to block Iran’s access to funds and demanding an accounting of all international high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions;
  • Leading efforts to hold the Biden administration accountable following the authorization of yet another Iran sanctions waiver;
  • Immediately following the Biden administration’s August decision to release $6 billion to Iran, leading his colleagues in demanding answers from the administration;
  • After the October 7th attack, being the first leader of the Senate Banking Committee to demand accountability from the Biden administration on the release of the $6 billion, and calling for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to testify and for the Senate to investigate the matter; and
  • Introducing the Revoke Iranian Funding Act to permanently freeze the $6 billion released by the Biden administration to Iran and direct the Treasury Secretary to provide an accounting of all high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions as well as identify all Iran-related waivers and sanctions relaxation policies.