The Senate voted to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed on H.R. 7691, the Ukraine Supplemental Aid Package. The motion passed 81-11. This means that the Senate can begin debate on the Ukraine aid package.
The legislation would provide over $20 billion in military supplies and roughly $20 billion in humanitarian, economic, and other aid to Ukraine.
While Senate Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly voted to advance the legislation, many populist-leaning Republicans such as Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have opposed the legislation.
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), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted against the bill.
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have tried to quickly pass the bill through the Senate; however, Paul has demanded that the Senate pass an amendment to create a special inspector general to oversee how the Ukraine military aid is spent.
“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 said on the Senate floor last week. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”
Paul said he would try to delay the bill until Thursday. He told CNN, “Because I think we should have an inspector general. We have one out there and 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 for the interventionist Quincy Institute, wrote that Paul “single handedly” held up the Ukraine aid bill.
“Lawmakers, who have shuttled billions of dollars through Congress in seeming record time over the last two months, are predictably annoyed,” Vlahos remarked.
Breitbart News defense reporter Kristina Wong broke down the spending for the Ukraine aid package, which includes $20 billion for the Department of Defense:
Hawley said the aid package does not aid America’s interests and has no meaningful oversight on the massive 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 to advance this bill while Americans continue to suffer from a record 40-year high inflation and a baby formula shortage.
“That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests,” he added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3. Kristina Wong contributed to this report.