On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked an effort in the Senate to hold a quick vote on the nearly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine that passed in the House on Tuesday.
“My oath of office is to the US 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,” Paul said on the Senate floor before blocking the vote. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”
Paul blocked the vote because he wanted to include text in the bill that would create a special inspector general for oversight of the billions being sent to Ukraine. He initially offered to include the oversight as an amendment, which would have been voted on separately, but he ultimately wanted to change the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were hoping to get the legislation passed on Thursday night, demonstrating the bipartisan support for spending massive amounts of money to fund Ukraine’s war. Paul’s objection will set the vote back at least one week.
“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,” Schumer said.
In the House, the $39.8 billion aid package passed in a vote of 368-57, with only Republicans voting against the legislation. The vote came as Americans are facing soaring gas prices, and over 8% inflation rates, a 40-year high. “Americans are feeling the pain [from inflation] and Congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can,” Paul said.