WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A whopping majority of House members passed a bill to get billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine, and members of the Senate looked to follow that. The goal was to get the funding out as fast as possible and even though many Republicans and Democrats wanted to make that a reality, the plans were put on pause.
“My oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said. While most senators were unified, Paul blocked unanimous consent for the Ukraine aid package and demanded change to the legislation. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” Paul said.
“It’s clear from the junior senator from Kentucky’s remarks, he doesn’t want to aid Ukraine,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. Schumer rejected Paul’s change. “We have a moral obligation to act and to act swiftly,” Schumer said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wanted the Senate to follow the House’s example and quickly pass the package. “We should pass the supplemental and we should do it today,” McConnell said.
The aid package would provide $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid. McConnell says it isn’t just charity. “It bears directly on America’s national security and vital interests that Russia’s naked aggression not succeed,” McConnell said. But not every Republican is on board. Sen. Josh Hawley questions the $40 billion price tag. “The fact that we are spending three times as much as the European allies, combined. I mean the United States singlehandedly financing this war. I’ve got major concerns about this,” Hawley said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to ask for aid as his military pushes Russian military forces back. But Hawley thinks someone needs to be assigned to keep track of where the money is going.
“I’ve got major issues with spending this kind of money, with no accounting with no oversight while our European allies are doing comparatively, very little,” Hawley said. Because unanimous consent is off the table, lawmakers will have to bring the bill to a vote next week.