The United States Senate advanced a legislation to provide an additional $40.1 billion emergency humanitarian and military assistance package for Ukraine as it continues its war against Russia.
Late afternoon on Monday, lawmakers in the upper chamber voted 81 to 11 to proceed with the final approval of H.R. 7691-Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022.
One of the Republicans who voted against the Ukraine aid bill is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Last Thursday, the junior senator defied Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-kentucky) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) who were hoping for a swift passage of the legislation.
Sen. Paul opposed a quick vote on H.R. 7691 and demanded to add his amendment into the bill to expand the role of an Afghanistan inspector general to include supervision of the additional assistance for Ukraine.
The junior senator said, “No matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”
Earlier on Monday, during his remarks on the Senator floor, Majority Leader Schumer criticized Sen. Paul’s move to delay the passage of the Ukraine aid bill as “totally unacceptable.” He noted that junior senator from Kentucky made it clear in his speech last week that he does not want to give support to Ukrainians as they fight Russian authoritarianism.
Schumer said, “Senator Paul’s obstruction of Ukraine funding is totally unacceptable, and only serves to strengthen Putin’s hand in the long run. I urge him to drop his opposition so we can reach an agreement to get this package passed through the Senate as soon as we can.”
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill with 368 t0 57 votes on Tuesday night. All 57 nay votes were from Republicans.
The Senate is expected to pass the legislation later this week. In March, the Congress enacted a $13.6 billion Ukraine aid bill. H.R. 7691 will bring United States’ assistance for Ukraine to almost $54 billion. It shows that the U.S. is committed to stopping Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
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