The Ukrainian Spending Bill Faces Opposition from Sen. Paul

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., put his foot down on Ukraine spending Wednesday, saying he will not support any bill to fund the government past Sept. 30 that includes funding for the war-torn Eastern European country.

“Today I’m putting congressional leadership & @POTUS on notice that I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding,” Paul wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more U.S. aid to Ukraine.”

The Hill reported that Paul’s announcement puts Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a bind if he wants to add money for Ukraine to a stopgap measure to fund the federal government. Schumer would have to go through a process known as cloture, which allows the Senate to vote on limiting debate on a bill and takes several days.

If Congress doesn’t pass a continuing resolution to fund the government past the Sept. 30 deadline, the nation risks a shutdown.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has been trying to rein in revolt among conservative factions of his Republican majority, and has not yet been able to find enough votes to pass a continuing resolution and send it to the Senate.

On a call with House Republicans Sunday night, McCarthy pitched a Thursday vote to pass a one-month funding bill that was hammered out between the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus.

The speaker called the package a “bottom-up” approach. It was designed to win support from the conservative wing of the Republican conference by including a 1% cut to last year’s spending levels, as well as a number of other Republican proposals.

In a Monday floor speech, Schumer said, “Last night’s proposal in the House can be boiled down to two words: Slapdash. Reckless.”

“Slapdash, because it’s not a serious proposal for avoiding a shutdown, and reckless because if passed would cause immense harm to so many priorities that help the American people,” he said.

President Biden has reportedly requested $24 billion in new humanitarian and security aid for Ukraine.

Senators are set to receive a classified briefing on the situation in Ukraine at 5 p.m. on Wednesday prior to a 10 a.m. Thursday meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to The Hill.

On Tuesday, Schumer would not say if he would move to add Ukraine funding to the continuing resolution, but said the package would need the support of both Democrats and Republicans in the chamber.

“We’d like to work on a bipartisan basis on the CR [continuing resolution] with the Republicans,” he told The Hill. “We’ve gotten indications that they want to do that. We’ve done it very successfully on the appropriations process and hopefully we can come together bipartisan here as well.” 

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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