Sen. Rand Paul Blocks Bill To Send $40 Billion In Aid To Ukraine
Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was the lone senator to stall a bipartisan effort to send $40 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) worked together to present an offer that would allow a vote on Paul’s proposed amendment in hopes of satisfying Paul to avoid delaying passage to next week, but Paul would not budge. He would have needed to garner 60 votes. He insisted that the placement of an inspector general to have oversight of spending in Ukraine be tacked onto the original bill.
“This is the second spending bill for Ukraine in two months. And this bill is three times larger than the first,” Paul said prior to officially blocking the aid package. “Congress just wants to keep on spending, and spending.”
He later elaborated in a tweet. “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. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” he wrote.
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. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy. https://t.co/UEyKbgadXF
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 13, 2022
Schumer voiced his frustration.
“The package is ready to go,” he said. “The vast majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want it. There’s 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. His change is strongly opposed by many members of both parties. He is not even asking for an amendment. He is simply saying my way or the highway.”
The bill will still pass, but now Schumer will need to take an extra few days to go around Paul’s objection. Passage of the bill is expected next week.