As another massive American taxpayer money giveaway barreled down the fast track Thursday, lone Sen. Rand Paul stood tall and yelled, “Stop!”
The $40 billion aid package had already passed the House on Tuesday, with only 54 Republicans voting against it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to fast-track the spending bill through the upper chamber on Thursday. But when Schumer asked the legislative body if there were any objections to passing it with a simple unanimous vote, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul threw a monkeywrench into the machinery.
“Reserving the right to object, my oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation,” declared the stiff-spined legislator. “And no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America.”
He added that, “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.” After a summary of the financial pain in which Americans find themselves, such as drastically increased prices for food, fuel, and cars, Paul said, “Inflation doesn’t just come out of nowhere; it comes from deficit spending.”
The stalwart senator went on to enumerate additional reasons why Congress should reconsider casually handing over yet another $40 billion.
“If this gift to Ukraine passes, our total aid to Ukraine will almost equal the entire military budget of Russia,” Paul pointed out. When combined with the $13 billion the Unites States has already sent to Ukraine, the new cash dump would bring total U.S. aid to the nation to almost $54 billion — just this spring. Russia’s entire military budget in 2021 was just under $66 billion.
“And it’s not as if we have that money lying around; we will have to borrow that money from China to send it to Ukraine,” he added. He also said that “The cost of this package we are voting on today is more than the U.S. spent during the first year of the U.S. conflict in Afghanistan.”
Paul also said, “the billions of dollars in funding towers in comparison to what the United States spends on cancer research annually—$6 billion—and is more than the government collects in gas taxes each year to build roads and bridges. It nearly equals the entire State Department budget … and exceeds the budget for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.”
That’s an awful lot of money, considering the United States isn’t even in this war.
Gee whiz, just how much do the Bidens owe the corrupt government over there?
Paul then suggested a perfectly reasonable amendment:
“So I act to modify the bill to allow for a special inspector general,” he proposed. “This would be the inspector general that’s been overseeing the waste in Afghanistan and has done a great job.”
So, if we think Afghanistan is important enough to send someone to oversee our spending, why on earth wouldn’t we do the same in a country as famously corrupt as Ukraine?
But this common-sense notion was apparently repugnant to Schumer. “It’s clear from the junior senator from Kentucky’s remarks, he doesn’t want to aid Ukraine,” douched the frustrated senator. “All he will accomplish with his actions here today is to delay that aid, not to stop it.”
Sadly, Schumer is probably correct that Paul cannot stop the $40 billion package from passing. Paul was able to halt the Ukraine train for today, but it will now be voted on next week. With support from both the majority and minority leaders, and with all the pressure in the world on Americans to Stand With Ukraine!, this massive spending bender will doubtless sail through, and ever more Americans’ billions will flutter out the door with little or no idea where they will end up.
In a thread Paul tweeted after the vote, he summarized:
My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation. Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill – one that I doubt anyone has actually read – and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent.
All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent. Anyone who is opposed to this is irresponsible.
While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have. Passing this bill brings the total we’ve sent to Ukraine to nearly $54 billion over the course of two months.
It’s threatening our own national security, and it’s frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula.
Thank you standing up for Americans, Senator.