Paul delays passage of Ukraine aid package

by Will Tubbs

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday proved an unclearable hurdle for the majority of Republicans and Democrats who hoped to more speedily approve a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.

While there was nothing Paul could do to defeat the bill, he threw up procedural hurdles that will delay the bill’s passage by days or up to a week.

“My oath of office is 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. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

Paul demanded that a measure be added to the bill that would create an inspector general to oversee how the Ukraine military aid is spent.

The request enraged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who responded with an ad hominem attack, stating “it’s clear from the junior senator from Kentucky’s remarks he doesn’t want to aid Ukraine.”

However, Schumer was not truthful in this remark. In fact, Paul said quite the opposite, both in the Senate and on Twitter. His complaint is not that aid is being sent to Ukraine.

Rather, Paul is displeased along two fronts: the lack of an accountability structure and the allocation of so much money to a foreign war effort when Americans face so many challenges at home.

“While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have,” Paul tweeted. “Passing this bill brings the total we’ve sent to Ukraine to nearly $54 billion over the course of two months.

“It’s threatening our own national security, and it’s frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula.”


Paul, though, has no allies in his fight. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, and virtually all other Republicans prefer to send more money to Ukraine.

“Helping Ukraine is not an instance of mere philanthropy,” McConnell said during his remarks. “It bears directly on America’s national security and vital interests that Russia’s naked aggression not succeed and carries significant costs. If Ukraine fails to repel Russian aggression, there is no question that the threat to American and European security will grow.”

McConnell attempted to convince Paul to propose his changes as an amendment, one almost certain to have failed, so that the bill could have proceeded through to President Joe Biden’s desk Thursday. Paul held fast and insisted upon the more cumbersome procedural approach.

“[All] he will accomplish with his actions here today is to delay that aid, not to stop it,” Schumer said.

Thursday proved a day of blocking for Paul. In addition to delaying passage of the Ukraine aid bill, he also slowed the passage of a bill that would prevent databases from storing the home addresses and other personally identifiable information about federal judges.

Paul’s objection in that case was to the scope of the law, which the Kentucky senator said was too limited and should include members of Congress as well.