US Congress blocks vote on $40 billion aid to Ukraine

Senator Rand Paul blocked consideration of $40 billion in aid to Ukraine Total US aid to Ukraine in two years could reach $60 billion, which is higher than the State Department's budget, said Senator Rand Paul. He blocked the adoption of the relevant bill without adding his proposals to the document

Rand Paul

The US Senate has postponed the final vote on providing Ukraine with a $40 billion aid package due to the decision of Senator Rand Paul, who demanded amendments to the text of the document, writes Bloomberg.

Paul indicated that if the bill is passed, total US aid to Ukraine since last year will reach $60 billion, which is more than the State Department budget, such an amount could accelerate the rapid growth of inflation.

“Inflation does not appear out of nowhere. <…> This is due to deficit spending,»— the senator explained.

As Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader and Democratic Party member, put it, Paul suggested “My way or the highway” (an American idiom meaning to fully demand full acceptance of the speaker's terms without a desire to discuss alternative options. — RBC).

The senator demands a change in the bill to oblige the Office of the Inspector General to control the costs associated with Ukraine. Reuters points out that without his consent, the Senate is required to follow a longer process to pass the bill.

According to Bloomberg, this plan includes:

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  • $6 billion in direct security assistance to Kyiv and $8.8 billion in economic support;
  • $9.05 billion to replenish the stockpiles of weapons supplied to Ukraine by the Pentagon;
  • $4 billion for other countries to help buy weapons they will supply to Ukraine;
  • $4.35 billion in global food and humanitarian assistance to be administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID);
  • $700 million in global food funding by the State Department;
  • funds to repair the US embassies in Kyiv and other expenses.

A number of representatives of the Republican Party expressed concern that measures related to the global food crisis should not be included in the bill, the agency points out. Republican Senator John Cornyn says the Senate will approve the relief package early next week.

The budget of the US State Department in 2022 amounted to $58.5 billion, for 2023 the presidential administration requested an increase in funding for the department by $1.9 billion (3%)— to $60.4 billion. This budget includes $1.6 billion, which is planned to be sent to Ukraine and other countries in Europe and Central Asia, which are “threatened by regional instability”; According to the State Department website.

Since February 24, total US assistance to Ukraine has amounted to $3 billion, Reuters wrote, and the volume of funds frozen under personal sanctions has amounted to $30 billion over the same period .

At the end of April, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to allocate another 33 billion to Kyiv to support “in its struggle for freedom.” “The cost of this struggle is not cheap, but yielding to aggression will be even more expensive,” — he explained. The US President also announced his intention to ask Congress for permission to use the frozen property of Russian oligarchs to finance aid to Kyiv.

The lower house of the US Congress, the House of Representatives, approved Biden's initiative on May 11, increasing the amount of aid to $40 billion. 368 people voted in favor congressmen, voted against 57.

The material is being supplemented.

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