Senator Rand Paul single-handedly delayed until next week Senate approval of the $40 billion Ukraine aid package.
With the U.S. Senate ready to debate and vote on the package, Paul denied leaders the unanimous agreement they needed to proceed.
Paul’s defiance of the bipartisan efforts prevented quick passage of the military and economic aid before the congressional body left town for the week.
Rand Paul single-handedly delays Senate approval of $40B Ukraine aid package. https://t.co/ymFfNomDhB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 13, 2022
— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2022
Senator @RandPaul Objects To Passage Of $40 Billion Foreign Aid Package To Ukraine Until Financial Oversight Is Included
"My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation."
Schumer Refuses To Modify, Paul Objects pic.twitter.com/HnxUxPCFge
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) May 12, 2022
From The Hill:
Paul objected to a deal offered by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would have set up votes on Thursday afternoon on the funding and on an amendment from Paul, who wanted to include language in the bill to expand an Afghanistan inspector general role to include oversight of the Ukraine funds.
Paul blocked the votes because he wants his language inserted into the text of the bill instead of having to take his chance with an amendment vote, which could be blocked. The stalemate will delay the Senate’s passage of the Ukraine package until at least next week, and potentially beyond.
“I think they’re going to have to go through the long way,” Paul told The Hill about what comes next after the floor standoff.
The roadblock comes after senators and staff haggled privately for hours on Thursday to try to find a path toward passing the Ukraine aid before they wrapped up their work for the week. Senators were also eager to avoid making changes to the bill, which would require it to go back to the House for a second vote.
NBC News added:
The legislation has been approved overwhelmingly by the House and has strong bipartisan support in the Senate. Final passage is not in doubt.
Even so, Paul’s objection was an audacious departure from an overwhelming sentiment in Congress that quickly helping Ukraine was urgent, both for that nation’s prospects of withstanding Vladimir Putin’s brutal attack and for discouraging the Russian president from escalating or widening the war.
It was also a brazen rebellion against his fellow Kentucky Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell began Thursday’s session by saying senators from “both sides” — meaning Republicans and Democrats — needed to “help us pass this urgent funding bill today,” gesturing emphatically as he said “today.”
Paul, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, said he wanted language inserted into the bill, without a vote, that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending. He has a long history of demanding last-minute changes by holding up or threatening to delay bills on the brink of passage, including measures dealing with lynching, the defense budget and providing health care to the Sept. 11 attack first responders.