Senate Passes $40 Billion in Aid to Ukraine During 40-Year-High Inflation
The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to give $40 billion to Ukraine in economic and military aid, while Americans suffer from food shortages and inflation. The Senate voted on H.R. 7691, the Ukraine Supplemental Aid Package, which passed 86-11. The vote featured strong Republican and Democrat support for the bill; however, some populist Senate Republicans opposed the legislation, believing that America should focus its efforts on domestic crises such as 40-year-high inflation and baby formula shortages. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted against the bill. Senate Republican populists could not stop the overwhelming Senate support to stop the legislation, even though it required 60 votes, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) managed to delay the passage of the bill until Thursday. Paul told Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow that the United States would have to borrow the $40 billion to send the tens of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine. The Senate did not vote on Paul’s proposed amendment to have an inspector general ensure the billions were spent wisely. Paul lamented the “bipartisan consensus” that Republicans need to give Democrats more social welfare spending to obtain more military spending. The bill’s delay garnered extra attention for the legislation, which led many lawmakers to question the need to increasingly have the United States intervene on behalf of Ukraine during its conflict with Russia. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) also became a sharp detractor of the Ukraine aid bill, contending that it is not in America’s interests. “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. “That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests,” he added. Hawley said, “The $40 billion Ukraine bill represents a return to nation building. Wrong choice. I’m a no.” “I support helping Ukraine expel the Russian invasion, but as inflation, gas prices, and shortages wallop Americans here at home I can’t support $40 billion of new spending unless it’s offset with cuts or taken from already authorized funds, especially when the European Union isn’t matching what we’re doing to end this conflict in their own backyard,” Braun, who voted against the legislation, said in a statement this week. “I am fully in support of Ukraine and its efforts to push back on Russian aggression. I am, however, concerned about this particular request. President Biden requested $33 billion, yet we are voting on a $40 billion package. It’s important to give Ukraine the support they need, but we also need to be pragmatic about the amount of money we are spending,” Lummis, who also voted against the bill, said in a statement.
In contrast, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), contended that America needs to send Ukraine the tens of billions of dollars in aid to “stand with the freedom-loving people of Ukraine.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “America is by nature a noninterventionist nation. However, America has historically been the arsenal of democracy and stood up for freedom when very few would.” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)) said, “Let’s be clear: Supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia puts U.S. security interests first. We also need to be clear that for the last 17 months, @POTUS could have done much more to deter Russia & much less to appease Putin.” The Ukraine aid package also passed through the House with overwhelming Democrat and Republican support, although 57 Republicans voted against the legislation.