- Sen. Rand Paul this week became the singular holdout blocking the swift passage of aid to Ukraine.
- Paul objected to Sens. Schumer and McConnell’s effort to move forward with unanimous assent.
- Paul is asking for an inspector general to be installed to oversee the money spent in Ukraine.
On Thursday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul became the lone holdout against a bipartisan effort to approve $40 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Paul stood in objection to the effort supported by both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, blocking the unanimous vote they needed to quickly approve the funding.
Paul asked that the bill be debated and subjected to a 60-vote threshold and insisted that an inspector general be installed to oversee the spending of the money in Ukraine.
“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 US economy.”
Paul’s objection stood in stark contrast to McConnell’s statement in the Senate.
“Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion. And they need this help right now,” said McConnell.
Similarly, Schumer urged the Senate to move quickly on the matter, calling it a “moral obligation” to help Ukraine fight “Putin’s immoral war.”
“The package is ready to go. The vast majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want it,” Schumer said.
Responding to Paul’s objection, Schumer called Paul’s objection “reckless” and said he thought it was clear from Paul’s remarks that he “doesn’t want to aid Ukraine.”
“All he will accomplish is to single-handedly delay desperately needed Ukraine aid,” Schumer added.
The Senate has now scheduled an initial vote for the bill for late Monday afternoon.
The bill that Paul objected to was passed by the House 368 to 57. Lawmakers topped up President Joe Biden’s request for $33 billion in aid, adding another $7 billion to aid Ukraine in its war against Russia.
For his part, Paul doubled down on his stance in a Thursday tweet.
“My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to any foreign nation. Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill — one that I doubt anyone has actually read — and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent,” Paul argued.
He added in subsequent tweets: “While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”
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