The Senate approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine Thursday, sending the bill to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it shortly.
The vote was 86 to 11, with all the no votes coming from Republicans.
The bill was delayed for a week by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who questioned the bill’s constitutionality and cost, and who wanted the legislation to include language appointing an independent inspector general to oversee the funding.
“If Congress really believed giving Ukraine $40B was in our national interest, they could easily pay for it by taxing every income taxpayer $500. My guess is they choose to borrow the $ [because] Americans might just decide they need the $500 more to pay for gas,” Paul said.
The 10 other Republican senators who voted against the bill were Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Boozman of Arkansas, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Lee of Utah, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the bill’s Republican opponents of siding with the isolationist wing of the party led by Donald Trump, to the detriment of American national interests.
“It appears more and more MAGA Republicans are on the same soft-on-Putin playbook that we saw used by former President Trump,” Schumer said. “Our adversaries might conclude that we’re divided, America is divided. They might conclude that we lack purpose.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked those who voted against the proposal. McConnell traveled to Kyiv last week to meet with leaders in Ukraine.
“As a matter of moral principle, the United States is proud to support the sovereign democracy self-defense,” he said. “Innocent Ukrainians have been subjected to wanton cruelty. But aid for Ukraine goes far beyond charity. The future of American security and core strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this fight. Anyone concerned about the cost of supporting a Ukrainian victory should consider the much larger cost should Ukraine lose.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: COURTHOUSE NEWS