On Monday, the Senate voted to advance the nearly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, setting up a final vote on the legislation later this week.
The Senate passed a motion to limit the debate on the bill in a vote of 81-11, with only Republicans opposing the measure. The move came after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked a vote on the massive aid package last Thursday.
Paul blocked the vote because he wanted to change the text of the bill to create a special inspector general for oversight of the billions in weapons and other aid that the US is pouring into Ukraine.
In his objection, Paul also cited the economic pain Americans are feeling due to a 40-year high inflation rate of over 8% and soaring gas prices. “Americans are feeling the pain and Congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can,” he said.
Other Senate Republicans announced their opposition to the aid package before Monday’s vote, including Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN). “I certainly don’t have anything against the Ukrainians. We want to see them win, but pumping more aid into that country when we’re not taking care of our own country — the best thing that Biden could do is stop the war that he’s waged on American industry,” he said.
The $39.8 billion aid package already passed through the House in a vote of 368-57. Like in the Senate, only Republicans in the House opposed the bill as Democrats in both chambers are in lockstep in their support for the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy of pumping weapons into the country.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday that a final vote on the bill could happen as soon as Wednesday. The Pentagon has warned that if the legislation isn’t passed by Congress and signed by Biden by Thursday, there could be delays in US arms shipments to Ukraine.