Rand Paul Stalls Quick Senate OK of $40B Ukraine Package

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Rand Paul Stalls Quick Senate OK of $40B Ukraine Package

Why did Rand Paul stall the quick approval of a $40B Ukraine package? Will Schumer and McConnell work together to pass it? And what is Paul's plan to give the inspector general more authority? The answer to those questions might surprise you. Keep reading to find out! Posted on January 10‚ 2014 by admin

Rand Paul's objections to a $40B Ukraine package

Senator Rand Paul is delaying passage of a $40 billion Ukraine aid package. This package would help Ukraine weather a Russian invasion that is expected to last at least three months. It would include both economic and military aid‚ and would be backed by President Joe Biden. While this bill has already passed the House‚ Sen. Paul wants to derail the bill by requesting changes that would prevent the bill from being approved. First‚ let's look at what Rand Paul's objections to a $40-billion Ukraine package are. First of all‚ Paul is a libertarian. This means he opposes any spending‚ even when it is politically beneficial. That's what separates him from his fellow Republicans. So why would he object to this bill? The answer lies in his background. Second‚ the Kentucky senator was the only Republican to object to the bill‚ despite pressure from McConnell and Schumer to proceed with the package. Paul wanted a federal inspector general to oversee the money going to Ukraine. The Senate's leaders tried to resolve this by agreeing to a compromise‚ but Paul rejected it. That was after he suggested that the aid package must be passed with a 60-vote threshold. In addition to the $33 billion that the bill provides to Ukraine‚ it also includes $4 billion in aid to rebuild weapons that were shipped to the country. The $3.9 billion is for training U.S. troops in the region. However‚ the measure could be a ground for an election-season immigration fight. For now‚ the Senate is unlikely to reject the package as it is. But it is worth discussing whether to pass the Ukraine aid package to make it a reality.

Schumer and McConnell work together to pass the bill

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell are urging both parties in Congress to pass a $40B Ukraine funding package‚ which would arm Ukrainian forces and restore American weapons shipped to the region. Although Rand Paul objected to the idea‚ there is overwhelming support among lawmakers for the measure. Passage would not only help Ukraine's prospects of surviving Putin's brutal attack‚ but also discourage Putin from escalating the war in the region. The measure has bipartisan support and was passed by the House with the support of every voting Democrat‚ with one-in-four Republicans voting against it. It would provide more than $7 billion to Ukraine‚ an increase of nearly $20 billion over Biden's request. The funds would be divided equally between defense and humanitarian programs‚ including helping Ukraine and its regional allies. Another $5 billion would be used to address food shortages in Ukraine‚ a direct result of the war there. The Senate was poised to debate the package of aid to Ukraine after Sen. Rand Paul blocked it earlier this week. McConnell and Schumer worked together to pass the aid package‚ but Rand Paul blocked the package by demanding an inspector general oversee the bill. Because Rand Paul's objection forced the Senate to delay the vote until next week‚ the aid package will still be in place until next week. Sen. Rand Paul's opposition to the spending package reflects his political views. The libertarian senator frequently opposes U.S. intervention abroad and wanted an inspector general to review any new spending. Paul also has a history of making last-minute demands that delay legislation. Rand Paul has also pushed for sanctions against Russia‚ lynching‚ and government surveillance. The Democrats offered to hold a vote on Paul's language‚ but Paul refused to participate. Both Democrats and Republicans were keen to support the aid package‚ but differences were evident. While the Democrats' language favored a larger package‚ McConnell remained committed to a smaller one. One amendment‚ sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul‚ included language to allow the Justice Department to transfer money to Ukraine‚ was dropped. But a few Republicans remained opposed to the measure‚ so it passed with 10 GOP votes.

Paul's plan to expand inspector general's powers

A bill sponsored by Senator Rand Paul‚ R-Ky.‚ would expand the inspector general's powers. Currently‚ his jurisdiction is limited to Afghanistan. Democrats have objected to Paul's proposal‚ but McConnell and Schumer stood shoulder to shoulder in support of the measure on Tuesday. With all Democrats voting for the bill‚ it is unlikely that the bill will fail. And‚ the bill's spending would only make up less than a tenth of a percent of the US economy. While it's important to help the Ukraine‚ Rand Paul's opposition was a significant departure from the prevailing sentiment in Congress. Most members of Congress favored helping Ukraine‚ both to improve its prospects in the face of Putin's brutal onslaught and to deter the Russian president from further expanding the war. However‚ the senator's plan to expand the inspector general's powers is still on hold.