The decade's most triggering comedy
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul said he would move to hold up any spending bill providing more money to Ukraine as the deadline for Congress to fund the federal government approaches.
Paul, a frequent critic of foreign aid, announced on Wednesday that he would not allow an expedited funding bill that includes financial support for Ukraine to make it quickly through the Senate.
“Today I’m putting congressional leadership & [Joe Biden] on notice that I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more US aid to Ukraine,” he said.
In an op-ed published on Wednesday, Paul said he had concerns over what approving more aid would do to the national debt and voiced skepticism about U.S. strategy and interests in Ukraine.
“When will the aid requests end? When will the war end? Can someone explain what victory in Ukraine looks like? President Biden certainly can’t. His administration has failed to articulate a clear strategy or objective in this war, and Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive has failed to make meaningful gains in the east,” he wrote.
Paul has previously held up Ukraine aid, saying there should be more oversight for the billions of dollars in humanitarian and military support being sent over.
On Thursday, a group of other Republicans, led by Ohio Senator J.D. Vance and Texas Rep. Chip Roy, sent a letter to Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, saying that they, too, would oppose further aid to Ukraine. The nearly 30 Republicans, including Paul, say they plan to vote against the additional $24 billion requested by Biden for Ukraine.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan? What does the administration define as victory in Ukraine?” the letter said. “It would be an absurd abdication of congressional responsibility to grant this request without knowing the answers to these questions.”
The Republican opposition comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lobbies Capitol Hill for more support. His request appears to be favored by Senate leadership, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but it could face more headwinds in the House.