Rand Paul holds Senate vote on huge spending bill for Kiev. He demands stricter oversight as to how it is spent.
The US plans to offer nearly $40 billion more in military and economic assistance to Ukraine during its ongoing conflict with Russia have hit a speed bump. Senator Rand Paul (R.Kentucky), blocked a vote to approve the funding bill, likely delaying passage until at least next week.
Paul obstructed the Senate’s request to approve on Thursday “unanimous consent,”This allows bill with bipartisan support to be quickly-tracked and without discussion. The former presidential candidate said he would only allow for a quick vote if the bill was revised to include the appointment of a special inspector general to monitor how the massive aid package is spent – a demand that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) refused to meet.
Schumer stated that Washington was a “moral obligation” to help Ukraine in its fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “immoral war.” He said Paul’s oversight provision was strongly opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“There is now only one thing holding us back: The junior senator from Kentucky is preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add, at the last minute, his own changes directly into the bill,”He stated that the majority leader was correct. He continued, “All he will accomplish is to singlehandedly delay desperately needed Ukraine aid.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky), also demanded an urgent vote on the bill. The House passed the bill unanimously on Wednesday. He called for Paul’s revision to be voted on as an amendment, which would likely fail, clearing the way for passage of the aid package.
Paul demanded that Paul’s proposal be included in the bill. This would mean that after approval by the Senate, the amended legislation must go back to Congress for a second vote. The latest package will bring US assistance to Ukraine to $60 Billion since February’s conflict. This is nearly the same amount as Russia allocates each year for its defense budget.
The senator argued that the US would be funding Ukraine’s war effort with borrowed money, adding to America’s $30 trillion debt and worsening its inflation crisis. “Americans are feeling the pain, and Congress seems intent on only adding to that pain by shoving more money out the door as fast as they can,”Paul spoke.
My office oath is to the US Constitution and not to foreign nations. No matter what cause I may be sympathetic to, it is my office oath to the national security of America. The US cannot save Ukraine by destroying its economy.
All Democrats supported the aid bill, as did all Republicans. It would more than double US aid sent to the top 10 recipients in 2021. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, was one of those who opposed the bill. “Putin’s propaganda.”
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Paul stated that the US continues to struggle to make ends meet after spending $1.6 trillion on Middle East wars, and $5 trillion to finance the Covid-19 response. “We should not forget that the Soviet Union collapsed in large part not because it was defeated militarily, but because it ran out of money,”He said. “In an attempt to save Ukraine, will we doom the US to such a future?”