On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declared his opposition to any short-term government spending bill that includes extra funding for the Ukrainian war effort, just a week and a half before a potential federal government shutdown.
Congressional leaders are striving to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond September 30. Nevertheless, there is an ongoing dispute over whether this resolution should incorporate the extra $24 billion in Ukraine aid that President Joe Biden has proposed.
In an op-ed and during his Senate floor speech, Paul expressed his belief that the federal government should not be subject to potential delays due to Ukraine funding.
Paul posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Today I’m putting congressional leadership & @POTUS 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 U.S. aid to Ukraine.”
Today I'm putting congressional leadership & @POTUS 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.…
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 20, 2023
The $113 billion already provided in Ukraine aid has been distributed at an average rate of $6.8 billion per month, equivalent to $223 million per day, as pointed out by Paul in his op-ed. He remains steadfast in his opposition to using taxpayer money to support what he views as an ongoing, indefinite conflict, and he characterized attempts to include such aid in the continuing resolution as a failure to fulfill their duty.
Paul further emphasized his point by highlighting the pervasive issue of corruption within Ukraine, mentioning the recent dismissal of six deputy defense ministers from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense due to corruption allegations.
He emphasized, “This comes two weeks after the firing of Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who was removed after it was discovered that the ministry of defense had mishandled military contracts.”
Paul made his announcement just a day ahead of a scheduled meeting between senators and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday morning.
Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been vocal about the need for increased aid to Ukraine in recent weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is also in favor of additional funding for Ukraine, though he hasn’t specified whether he intends to include it in a government funding continuing resolution.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is in favor of more funding for Ukraine. However, he prefers to see this funding as part of a separate bill rather than including it in a government funding bill.