The bill provides $ 20.1 billion in military assistance that is expected to provide for the transfer of advanced weapons systems such as Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and long-range artillery. The bill also includes সাধারণ 8 billion in general economic aid for Ukraine, about $ 5 billion in global food aid to address potential food shortages caused by the collapse of Ukraine’s agricultural economy, and more than $ 1 billion in integrated assistance for refugees.
Support for the bill is strongly bipartisan – senators voted 88 to 11 in an experimental vote Tuesday to move the bill forward – but party leaders say Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Was forced to go through a systematic barrier to a week’s worth of tactics. Who objected to the bill on revenue and geopolitical grounds.
The House has approved about 40 40 billion in aid to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression
His delaying tactics have angered leaders of both parties, who last week sought to use the process to pass a bill that would require the consent of all 100 senators.
“It should have been done already and it should have been done, but it’s disgusting that a member of the other party … chose to do a show and block Ukraine’s finances knowing full well that he could not actually stop it,” said majority leader Charles E. Count (DN.Y.) said Wednesday. “For Senator Paul, delaying Ukraine’s funding for political purposes only strengthens Putin’s hand.”
Paul defended his objection on Tuesday, calling US support for Ukraine “a great cause, no doubt – a cause for which I have a lot of sympathy and support – but a reason why the constitution does not approve or approve.”
“Yes, our national security is threatened – not by Russia’s war against Ukraine, but by the congressional war against American taxpayers,” he said. “Most Americans are sympathetic to Ukraine and want it to resist Russian aggression. But if Congress had been honest, they would have taken money from other parts of the budget, or asked Americans to pay higher taxes, or forbid heaven, to lend money to Ukraine instead of giving it to Ukraine. But Congress will do what Congress does best: spend other people’s money.
Paul offered to lift his hold if Senate leaders agreed to an amendment that would oversee new aid to an existing federal watchdog, the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. But Democrats opposed the request, arguing that any change in the bill would further delay it and pass it again in the House. Some have opposed the reinstatement of the Inspector General of Afghanistan with Ukraine.
Paul’s comments drew pushback from within his own party – including from Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who argued Tuesday that “America’s decision to support Ukraine is not some kind of charitable act.”
“It serves our own national security and strategic interests,” he said. “International borders actually carry some meaning. It serves our own security and interests to impose huge costs on Putin’s long-running campaign of violent imperialism.” Strongly work in our national interest to prevent potential future aggression wars before they begin. “
McConnell and three other Republicans paid an unannounced visit to Kiev last weekend where they met with Zelensky.
In addition to Paul, ten other Republicans opposed the aid package in a systematic vote this week, mostly citing financial concerns, but no one opposed speed-tracking the bill in the final vote.
The package initially requested $ 33 billion more than a total of $ 7 billion. It came to the House last week after Biden hinted earlier this month that he was seeking to remove Ukraine’s aid separately from another emergency spending request on Capitol Hill – for at least $ 10 billion in Covid relief – which was mired in partisan politics.
“This assistance was critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield,” Biden said in a May 9 statement. “We cannot allow our aid shipments to stop while we wait for Congress to take the next step.”
The House voted 368-to-57 last week to advance the aid package, with all House Democrats and 149 Republicans voting in favor. 57 House Republicans oppose the bill.
Thursday’s vote comes on the basis of Wednesday’s Senate confirmation to serve as US ambassador to Ukraine – making Brink the first full ambassador to Kiev since May 2019, when then-President Donald Trump withdrew Marie Ivanovich. .
Biden, the former ambassador to Slovakia, was confirmed by voice vote less than a month after he was nominated for Ukraine and less than two weeks after Brink’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – quickly provoked by the Russian invasion and increasing US aid pledges.
Brink told the committee on May 10 that coordinating the flow of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the ongoing Russian aggression was his top priority.
Schumer said Brink would be an “outstanding” ambassador on Wednesday and would help Ukraine defeat the onslaught launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The absence of an ambassador really disrupts our relationship in a way that no one wants to see,” he said. “
Although key lawmakers said it was too early to predict what more Congress would need to provide for the Ukraine conflict, they acknowledged that more would almost certainly be needed.
The main Ukraine-related issue after reaching Capitol Hill this year may not be funding, but Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO – a move in the wake of Russia’s aggression, prompting a re-evaluation between Finns and Swedes who have long been wary. Joining the Transatlantic Alliance, which borders the two countries, for fear of provoking Russia.
Senators from both parties predicted this week that the Senate would move quickly to approve the Scandinavian countries’ applications, becoming the first new members of NATO since Montenegro was admitted in 2017. But it is not clear whether the vote will be unanimous
Paul, who voted with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) against Montenegro’s admission in 2017, said this week that he was still examining the question. And Sen. Josh Howley (R-Mo.), Who raised geopolitical objections to NATO expansion before the invasion of Ukraine, said on Wednesday that he was not “automatically yes” to the admission of Finland and Sweden.