Rand Paul blocks Senate vote to move forward Ukraine War Aid Bill

Rand Paul blocks Senate vote to move forward Ukraine War Aid Bill

Placeholder when loading item promotions

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) protested a Senate vote on aid to Ukraine on Thursday, delaying the bill’s passage until next week and dampening a bipartisan push to keep aid to Kyiv alive.

The senator faced backlash for his opposition but said he stood by his decision. “My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to a foreign nation,” Paul said tweeted He repeated his comments in the Senate on Thursday evening. While saying he has sympathy for the Ukrainian people, Paul added that the United States “cannot continue to spend money that we don’t have” because it “threatens our own national security.”

The bill – which would provide Ukraine with $39.8 billion in economic, humanitarian and defense aid – passed the House of Representatives this week with broad support. President Biden said he wants it on his desk by the end of this week while Washington tries to avert a funding shortfall for Ukraine as Kiev’s forces clash with the Russian military in the east and south of the country. In a letter to lawmakers this month asking Congress to approve the aid package, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the remaining approved aid funds would expire by May 19.

Paul was able to single-handedly block further development of the package, as the Senate requires unanimous approval to quickly bring such a bill to a final vote. Now the Chamber must jump through all the usual procedural hoops.

House of Representatives approves nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression

Paul requested the appointment of an inspector general to oversee funding, but declined an offer from Senate leadership to hold an amending vote on his designation. Changing the bill would have pushed them back to the House of Representatives.

In response, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) said Paul’s position was at odds with the “overwhelming majority” of lawmakers in the chamber. “Again, all he’s going to do with his actions here today is delay that aid, not stop it,” Schumer added. “A brave people fighting against authoritarianism and defending democracy urgently needs help.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted in a Thursday news briefing that the bill already included funding for existing inspectors general, as well as other oversight measures. She also reiterated Biden’s call to get the aid package through the legislative process.

Paul’s defiance has drawn disapproval at home and abroad. said Olexander Scherba, former Ambassador of Ukraine in Austria on twitter that Paul’s move represented a failure to defend Ukraine’s freedom. So is the Democratic candidate who wants to unseat Paul in this year’s election, Charles Booker denounced his disability. Paul’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Paul said that US support for Ukraine’s NATO entry contributed to Russia’s decision to invade. The comment was seen as echoing Russian talking points, leading to a clash with Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and prompting rebukes from Russia observers.

Cheng reported from Seoul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.