'INFLATION IS INSANE': Rand Paul hailed for blocking $40bn aid to Ukraine as 'Americans suffer'

Rand Paul ignored a plea from both Leader Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell to allow the chamber to vote this week on the bill


                            'INFLATION IS INSANE': Rand Paul hailed for blocking $40bn aid to Ukraine as 'Americans suffer'
(L-R) Rand Paul, Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell (Greg Nash- Pool/Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The Senate had to postpone final passage of a $40 billion Ukraine aid package after Senator Rand Paul denied allowing the vote unless the language he demanded was added. The Senate is now expected to vote on the legislation and send it to President Joe Biden's desk next week, seeking his signature. 

Paul ignored a plea from both Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow the chamber to vote this week on the bill. Schumer said that Paul, a Kentucky Republican, was declaring “my way or the highway” by refusing to give consent to move rapidly to a vote without his provision. This, he said, would give special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction oversight powers over Ukraine assistance. 

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Paul said that since last year, Ukraine will have received about $60 billion from the US. He insisted that this amount exceeds the budget for the US State Department, which could end up further stoking the increasing inflation. “Inflation doesn’t come out of nowhere,” he said on the Senate floor. “It comes out of deficit spending.”

The US House approved the legislation on a 368-57 vote this week. It also has bipartisan support in the Senate. Biden had requested a $33 billion assistance package last month, but this total is significantly larger than that.

Schumer and McConnell later appeared on the Senate floor in an attempt to set up votes on the Ukraine aid. The Senate's rule says that any one senator can try to quickly set up a vote or pass a bill. However, it takes only one senator to object. Schumer and McConnell offered a deal, under which the Senate would have first voted on stand-alone legislation from Sen John Kennedy to establish a special inspector general for the Ukraine aid. 

The Senate would have taken up the $40 billion in Ukraine assistance following that, with a vote on Paul’s amendment. Paul's proposal would have needed as many as 60 votes in order to get included in the Ukraine assistance. 

“There is 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 … He is not even asking for an amendment. He is simply saying my way or the highway,” Schumer said. “I’m offering to hold a vote on his amendment, even though I disagree with it. Let the chamber speak its will. Let both sides of the aisle have input and for heaven’s sake, let Ukraine funding get done ASAP,” he added. 

McConnell reportedly signaled that he wished to get the Ukraine package passed on Thursday, May 12. “Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion, and they need help right now,” McConnell said. 

However, Paul warned that considering the pace of spending, “we cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.” “Americans are feeling the pain [from inflation] and Congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can,” Paul said. 

Twitter is hailing Paul for his decision. "Thank you Senator Paul. I’m glad someone in DC has some fiscal responsibility," one user wrote on the social media platform. "We need more Mr. Paul's on the peoples side. I send my gratitude," wrote another. One user wrote, "Thank you. What’s happening in Ukraine is awful but we don’t have money to just dish out. Inflation is insane here, the stock market is collapsing, we’re borderline in a recession. Companies are going to start laying off employees. We can’t just hand out more free money now".



 



 



 

"Proud to say I voted for Senator Paul today. Accountability for a 40B gift is not an unreasonable ask. Kudos Senator," said one user, while another wrote, "Agree with Paul. We have our own problems." One user said, "God I love Senator Paul the only Senator who passed economics."



 



 



 

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