Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took a bold stand on Wednesday against further funding for the Ukraine war. Paul addressed his peers with a promise that the stopgap bill will stop with him if there is any shred of funding for Ukraine in it.
Today I'm putting congressional leadership & @POTUS on notice that I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more US aid to Ukraine.…
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 20, 2023
During his speech on the Senate floor, Paul reiterated, “Borrowing money from China to send it to Ukraine makes no sense.” As a nation with a $1.5 trillion deficit, he’d be right.
Paul’s recent op-ed for The American Conservative echoed his thoughts, noting Congress had already shelled out $113 billion to help Ukraine. With no tangible result or sign of the conflict ending anytime soon, he’s not comfortable offering continued support.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is asking for $24 billion in aid for Ukraine. Paul is concerned with the monumental deficit here at home. Americans are struggling to make ends meet, and he worries that never-ending support for foreign conflicts could set the tone for the future of our nation.
Congress remains at an impasse as they haggle over the short-term spending package, which would extend funding through October 31. Paul didn’t mince words when he accused the Senate of attempting to place a stronghold on the federal government with a shutdown looming just nine days away.
Was Paul off the mark? Americans don’t seem to think so. Continued use of taxpayers’ dollars to fund what many believe to be a smokescreen — more so than a war — has sparked serious debate in recent weeks. Paul referenced a CNN poll from August that touted the American majority is firmly against funding this war.
A majority of the US opposes Congress authorizing additional funding to support Ukraine in the war, a new CNN poll finds https://t.co/0CFqoAVZx4
— CNN (@CNN) August 4, 2023
Paul reminded that Ukraine canceled its next presidential election, and questioned whether that is a nod to a nation not actually interested in preserving their democracy. If it is, why is the US trying to rescue it for them?
Furthermore, Paul conveyed concern for Russia’s massive nuclear arsenal, noting our involvement is not without risk. The last thing Americans need is to come under attack for being in the crosshairs of a war most of them want no part of.
Congressional leaders appear to disagree with Paul’s assessment. House Speaker Sen. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is supportive of funding Ukraine but seeks to keep it separate from the spending bill. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are also pushing for funding for Ukraine.
The overarching question? Paul wants his colleagues to prioritize America over Ukraine. We would be wise to pay attention to those who argue against him.