Sen. Paul Delays Vote on $40 Billion Ukraine Package, Calls for Spending Oversight

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday delayed the Senate’s vote to pass a nearly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine that would provide the nation with further military and economic assistance amid its ongoing conflict with Russia.

While leaders were unanimous in their agreement to proceed with passing the package this week, Paul refused to do so until changes are made to the legislation that will ensure an inspector general can monitor exactly how the billions of dollars are being spent.

The legislation has been approved by the House and has strong bipartisan support in the Senate, and is still likely to pass.

However, Paul’s objection signified a departure from the overwhelmingly supportive stance that Congress and the Biden administration have so far shown for Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues with his “special military operation.”

The GOP senator, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, argued that the extra spending outweighed that which the United States currently spends on multiple domestic programs, and raised concerns over how it could potentially further exacerbate federal deficits and inflation in the country, which currently stands at a 40-year-high.

“My oath of office is to the U.S. 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 floor on Thursday.

“We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy … gasoline alone is up 48 percent, and energy prices are up 32 percent over the last year. Food prices have increased by nearly 9 percent. Used vehicle prices are up 35 percent for the year, and new vehicle prices have increased 12 percent or more,” he continued.

Paul noted that inflation “doesn’t just come out of nowhere” while pointing to deficit spending, noting that the United States spent almost $5 trillion on “COVID-19 bailouts” which have led to sky-high levels of inflation.

By Katabella Roberts

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