Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul delayed until next week Senate approval of an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine withstand Russia’s three-month old invasion. He defied both party leaders and his fellow Kentucky Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Paul, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, wanted language inserted into the bill that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending. He rejected that offer and argued that the added spending would worsen the federal deficit and inflation.
Democrats said Senator Paul’s plan would expand the powers of an existing inspector general, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that would only delay aid to Ukraine.
The House voted 368-57 to approve a measure to help Ukraine, partly because of Russian atrocities against civilians and strategic concerns about letting Putin seize European territory unanswered.
The latest aid measure approved by Congress would push U.S. aid to the region well above $50 billion, and would be voted on by Congress at a time of huge budget deficits and a risk of recession.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Biden asked Congress for $33 billion. The bill includes $6 billion for Ukraine, $4 billion for NATO allies and $8.7 billion for the Pentagon to rebuild stocks of weapons it has shipped to Ukraine.
Biden and Democrats dropped their demand to include billions more in the measure to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
Stay in the know with the following news sources:
- Rand Paul stalls Senate passage of $40 billion in Ukraine aid CBS News
- Rand Paul blocks bipartisan effort to swiftly pass Ukraine aid CNN
- The majority, it’s a mirage- POLITICO POLITICO
- Sen. Rand Paul blocks $40B Ukraine aid package WAVY TV 10
- Senator Rand Paul single-handedly holds up $40bn US aid for Ukraine The Guardian US
- View Full Coverage on Google News