Rand Paul blocks $40 billion Ukraine aid package

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Thursday single-handedly delayed a bipartisan effort to quickly send $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, which Congress had tried to fast-track amid the escalating brutality of Russia’s war.

The Senate needed unanimous consent to waive procedural hurdles and approve the humanitarian and military aid package, which the House passed 368-to-57 on Tuesday. 

Paul had sought to alter the bill to include a provision requiring that an inspector general monitor the spending and was not satisfied with a counteroffer from party leaders to have a separate vote on that proposal. In his objection on the Senate floor, Paul cited concerns about inflation and rising energy and gas prices.

“My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul said.

“We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” he said, citing inflation as well as the cost of gas, vehicles and food. “Yes, inflation doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It comes from deficit spending. The United States spent nearly $5 trillion on COVID-19 bailouts, leading to one of the highest and most sustained levels of inflation in U.S. history.”

Both Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell re-iterated their support for the bill. Schumer responded that “it’s clear from the junior senator from Kentucky’s remarks he doesn’t want to aid Ukraine.”

“That is not the case for the overwhelming majority here,” Schumer said. “Again all he will accomplish with his actions here today is to delay that aid. Not to stop it.”

“They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion,” McConnell said of the Ukrainians. “And they need this help right now.”




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