Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) postponed the Senate’s vote on Thursday to hand over nearly $ 40 billion in aid packages to Ukraine as the conflict with Russia continues.
Leaders unanimously agreed this week to proceed with the approval of the package, but until the law changes that allow inspectors to accurately monitor how billions of dollars are being spent. Paul refused to do so.
The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives, has strong bipartisan support in the Senate, and may still be passed.
However, Paul’s opposition meant a departure from the overwhelming support that Congress and the Biden administration had shown to Ukraine as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin continued his “special military operations.”
Republican senators, often libertarians who oppose US intervention abroad, claim that extra spending exceeds what the US is currently spending on multiple domestic programs, which has driven the country’s federal deficit and inflation. He expressed concern that it could make it worse. Currently, it is at the highest level in 40 years.
“My oath of office is against the US Constitution to any foreign country, and no matter how sympathetic, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States,” Paul said Thursday. Said on the floor.
“Ukraine cannot be saved by ruining the US economy … Gasoline alone has risen 48%, energy prices have risen 32% from last year. Food prices have risen nearly 9%. Used car prices have risen. Over the year, it has risen 35% and new car prices have risen by more than 12%, “he continued.
Inflation “doesn’t just come out of nowhere,” Paul said, pointing out deficit spending. I pointed out that I was connected.
“Americans are in pain, and Congress seems keen only to increase the pain by pushing more money out of the door as soon as possible,” Republicans said.
Ukrainian $ 39.8 billion package includes $ 6 billion for security assistance to its troops and national security forces and $ 8.7 billion to restock US equipment sent to the country. It contains.
In addition, Eurocorps operations will include $ 3.9 billion and an additional $ 11 billion will be approved by the Presidential Drawdown Agency. This allows Biden to approve the transfer of articles and services from US stocks in the event of an emergency without Congressional approval. Biden was demanding $ 5 billion.
An additional $ 4 billion will be used for foreign military financing to provide Ukraine and other countries with additional assistance in building and renewing their capabilities.
If approved, Russia’s invasion of nearly $ 54 billion, in addition to the $ 13.6 billion parliamentary aid passed in March, will bring US support to Ukraine.
Paul points out that the United States has provided Ukraine with more than $ 6 billion in security aid since 2014, and sees that if the latest amount passes, the total amount of aid is equal to Russia’s total military budget. He said he was.
“And it doesn’t seem like we’re lying about that money. To send that money to Ukraine, we have to borrow from China,” he said. “The cost of this package we are voting for today is higher than the cost the United States spent in the first year of the US conflict in Afghanistan.”
Senators also said that billions of dollars of funding towers ($ 6 billion) exceed the government’s annual fuel tax to build roads and bridges, compared to the amount the United States spends each year on cancer research. Said that. It’s about the same as the Department of State’s overall budget, and exceeds the Department of Homeland Security and Energy’s budgets.
Specifically, Paul called for the creation of a special inspector general to oversee how military aid to Ukraine is being used.
However, the Democratic Party opposed Paul’s plan as it would extend the power of existing inspectors whose current powers are limited to Afghanistan.
“Parliament needs to assess the cost of going this route,” Senator said. “The biggest threats to the United States today are debt, inflation, and the destruction of the dollar.” We cannot save Ukraine by killing us, “he added. economic power.
“So I will act to amend the bill to allow a special inspector general. This will be an inspector general who has overseen Afghanistan’s waste and has done a great job.”
Senate leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and other Democrats opposed Paul’s push to change the language and offered to vote for it instead, but the offer was rejected. rice field.
In short, lawmakers will vote to pass the bill next week, hoping for the progress of the bill.
“As is clear from the Kentucky senator, he doesn’t want to support Ukraine,” Schumer said Thursday. “The only thing he can do here today with his actions is not to stop it, but to delay its assistance.”
The Epoch Times asked Paul’s office for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.