Ron Paul blocks bipartisan Ukraine aid package from passing Senate

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is credited with blocking the bipartisan legislation that would offer nearly $40 billion in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, according to a report by The Washington Examiner

The publication said that Paul delayed the legislation on Thursday despite efforts by both parties to get the bill through the Senate quickly. 

Paul took a stand and objected to the deal between the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asking that the measure be amended to include language that would create a special inspector general to oversee how the aid will be spent. 

That amendment is unlikely to pass the senate, however, Paul’s argument for it came from the Senate floor with vehemence, saying that it was his “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.” 

Lawmakers from both parties appear to be looking to avoid changing the bill that passed the House of Representatives n a 368-57 vote on Tuesday. If changes are made the measure would have to go back to the House of Representatives to be voted on once again. 

“The vast majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want it. There’s now only one thing holding us back. The junior senator from Kentucky is preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add, at the last minute, his own changes directly into the bill. His change is strongly opposed by many members of both parties,” Schumer said.

The Senate minority leader asked that the amendment on the bill come to a vote Thursday abut then the process was delayed, and Schumer filed cloture on the meaner. The bill is now expected to be brought to a vote next week. 

“President Joe Biden has strongly advocated that Congress move quickly to pass the supplemental aid, with lawmakers agreeing to bring it up as a stand-alone bill, removing language to provide additional pandemic response funding, as current aid is expected to run out in the coming days,” the Examiner reported. 

In total, the legislation offered $39.8 billion in aid, which is notably more than the $33 billion that Biden requisition, and it includes provisions for funding additional resources for the nation to fight against Russia.