To establish oversight, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delayed efforts by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to pass a $39.8 billion bill Thursday that would send additional aid to Ukraine.
According to The Hill, Paul’s objection delayed the deal to send additional financial aid to Ukraine, insisting that specific oversight be added to the wording of the bill before it is voted on, rather than passing the bill and adding an amendment afterward.
After delaying the vote, Paul stated, “My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation. Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill – one that I doubt anyone has actually read – and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent.”
Paul explained, “All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent. Anyone who is opposed to this is irresponsible.”
The senator’s comments present a common concern among Americans about the government’s spending of U.S. tax dollars in other countries. The issue of establishing oversight for the use of billions of dollars resonates with the conservative platform of the Republican Party, especially as Americans buckle under rising inflation and shortages.
Nevertheless, the senator from Kentucky has faced significant backlash from both parties over his move to delay the vote.
In a statement on Twitter, Paul also highlighted the danger of adding to the national debt. He wrote, “While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have. Passing this bill brings the total we’ve sent to Ukraine to nearly $54 billion over the course of two months.”
Despite facing pressure from GOP lawmakers like Rand Paul, Senate leadership appears committed to passing additional financial aid for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion. While Americans suffer from soaring gas prices, record inflation, and a baby formula shortage, Congress devotes its focus and resources to foreign nations like Ukraine.
Over the weekend, McConnell, accompanied by three other Republican senators, visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. After the trip, McConnell argued that U.S. foreign aid is vital to defending “America’s national security and vital interests.”
McConnell’s comments seemingly ignore the pressing importance of the problems currently plaguing the United States domestically. As Rand Paul pointed out, the government’s attempt to send billions to Ukraine without oversight is “frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula.”