The Senate approved the cloture procedure to move forward with H.R. 7691, Ukraine's Additional Aid Package. The motion was approved by 81-11. It means the Senate will be able to begin debating this package of aid to Ukraine.
The legislation will provide over $20 billion worth of military equipment as well as around $20 billion in aid to the economy, as well as other assistance to Ukraine.
Although Senate Republicans and Democrats unanimously voted in favor of the legislation, a number of populist Republicans like Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have protested the bill.
Sens. Paul, Hawley, Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) as well as Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted against the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have tried to get legislation through the Senate, but Paul has requested that the Senate adopt an amendment to establish an inspector general special to monitor how Ukraine assistance to the military is used.
“My oath of office is the US constitution not to any foreign nation and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul stated on the Senate floor this week. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”
Paul has said he will try to hold off this bill until Thursday. Paul said to CNN, “Because I think we should have an inspector general. We have one out there overseeing Afghan waste. He's been very good at it. You don't have to wait for an appointment. He's got a team up and running. And I think that's what we should do.”
Kelley Vlahos, an editor of “Responsible Statecraft” of the Interventionist Quincy Institute, wrote that Paul “single-handedly” used his hand to block the Ukraine aid package.
“Lawmakers, who have shuttled billions of dollars through Congress in seeming record time over the last two months, are predictably annoyed,” Vlahos commented.
Breitbart News' reporter on defense Kristina Wong dissected the amount of money that was allocated to the Ukraine aid package worth $20 billion to defense.
Hawley claimed that the aid package will not serve America's interests, and there is no oversight of any kind on the huge spending bill.
“Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid – more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined – is not in America's interests. It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ no meaningful oversight,” Hawley wrote.
Senators voted in favor of this bill even though Americans continue to be afflicted by an unprecedented 40-year high in inflation as well as a shortage of infant formula.
“That's not isolationism. That's nationalism. It's about prioritizing American security and American interests,” said the senator.