Congressman Rand Paul blocked the US Senate vote, making it impossible for the agency to approve the Ukraine aid package.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday proposed “unanimous agreement,” a provision that would approve bills quickly and without discussion to speed progress. The U.S. House of Representatives approved those earlier week passed a $40 billion aid law for Ukraine.
But that move was blocked after Senator Rand Paul said he would only agree to appoint a special inspector general to oversee disbursement of the aid package. That motion was denied by Senator Chuck Schumer.
Senator Paul’s actions resulted in the vote to pass the bill being pushed back to next week. “The bailout package is ready to go and a majority of senators from both parties support it. If such reckless claims are sustained, all Senator Paul will achieve is to block the aid package Ukraine desperately needs,” Senator Schumer said.
Meanwhile, Paul stressed the need to implement his adjustment plan before voting on approving the aid package. “This is Ukraine’s second spending law in the last two months. It is three times greater than the first law. Congress just wants to spend money and spend money,” he said.
The law previously passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 368 in favor and 57 against, all opponents of which are Republicans.
The delay could complicate Western aid efforts for Ukraine. President Joe Biden’s administration has announced that it will run out of funds to allow emergency arms shipments to Ukraine without congressional approval until May 19.
US President Joe Biden initially requested $33 billion to help Ukraine, but Congress later increased the aid package to nearly $40 billion. The US offered to spend more on the delivery of military equipment and food aid to Ukraine.
The White House chief also announced a $150 million security aid package for Ukraine earlier this month, including artillery shells and radar. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this support package brings the total value of weapons the US government has sent to Ukraine since Russia launched the operation to $3.8 billion.
vu appendix (Corresponding Reuters)