(PresidentialWire.com)- After the House approved an additional $40 billion in aid to Ukraine last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had hoped to quickly follow suit in the Senate by passing the bill by unanimous consent. But Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blocked the fast-track vote.
On Thursday, in defiance of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Paul blocked the unanimous consent vote, requesting that an amendment be added to the bill without a vote that would grant oversight for the funding to the Afghanistan Inspector General.
Paul’s request was denied. But since only one Senator is needed to block a unanimous consent vote, Schumer’s plan to swiftly pass the bill was foiled and the vote was delayed.
In a Twitter thread Thursday evening, Senator Paul defended blocking the unanimous consent vote, arguing that his oath is to the Constitution, not to a foreign country. He blasted the Senate for “trying yet again to ram through a spending bill” nobody has read and for which there will be no oversight into how the money will be spent.
Paul added that any Senator who opposes an amendment to grant the Inspector General oversight over the funds “is irresponsible.”
With a fast-track vote impossible, the Senate had to move the bill through its usual procedure. On Monday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Senator Paul’s “obstruction,” saying Paul wouldn’t prevent the Senate from approving the $40 billion Ukraine giveaway, which is true.
On Monday, the Senate voted 81 to 11 to advance the $40 billion aid package with zero federal oversight, and the final vote on the measure is expected to pass this week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who shared a rare moment of solidarity with Chuck Schumer over Senator Paul’s delay, defended the $40 billion aid package with no oversight, claiming that assisting Ukraine in its fight against Russia “bears directly” on US “national security.” McConnell said it is in our “vital interests” that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine does not succeed. He argued that “there is no question” that Ukraine’s defeat would increase the threat to the security of Europe and the United States.
Joining Senator Paul in voting against advancing the bill were Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Bill Hagerty (TN), Josh Hawley (MO), Mike Lee (UT) Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL).