- Ukraine’s top diplomat criticized Sen. Rand Paul for delaying aid to Kyiv.
- Paul singlehandedly stalled a $40 billion aid bill intended to support Ukraine as it battles Russia.
- Paul delayed “much needed support” that could save lives, Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Friday over his role in delaying billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine as it fights to fend off a large-scale Russian invasion.
“We could have already started using the new US assistance package to more effectively save lives of Ukrainians who defend the democratic world. @POTUS, @SecBlinken, @SenateGOP, @SenateDems and American people were in strong support, and @RandPaul delayed so much needed support,” Kuleba tweeted.
The Biden administration warned in recent days that it would soon run out of authorized funds to provide Kyiv the assistance it needs in the face of the Russian onslaught. On Thursday, though, Paul singlehandedly blocked the swift passage of a bill that would see $40 billion in aid provided to Ukraine.
Despite bipartisan support for speedily approving the aid, Paul prevented the unanimous consent necessary to quickly pass the bill because he wanted the legislation changed to include language that would establish an inspector general to oversee aid provided to Ukraine.
The senator, who has frequently delayed or blocked legislation throughout his political career, refused an offer from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for a separate vote to be held on the amendment he requested. Due to the Senate’s procedural rules, the bill’s passage has been delayed until at least next week as a result of Paul’s objection. Changing the legislation’s language to include the provision Paul wants would kick the bill back to the House, where it previously passed with strong support (368 to 57) earlier in the week.
“My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to any foreign nation,” Paul said in a series of tweets after stalling the bill, adding, “While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”
Paul objected to the bill in defiance of McConnell, a fellow Kentuckian. “Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion, and they need help right now,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also ripped into Paul for delaying the bill. “All he will accomplish with his actions here today is to delay that aid, not to stop it,” Schumer said, per the Washington Post, adding, “It’s aid desperately needed by a valiant people fighting against authoritarianism and defending democracy.”
Paul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.