Sen. Rand Paul Pushes To Delay Aid To Ukraine: My Oath Is To The Constitution, Not A Foreign Nation

Sen. Rand Paul blocked on Thursday a $40 billion military aid package to Ukraine, which wants to triple the $20 billion already sent, by adding an amendment to send a special investigator to find waste, fraud, and abuse in the bill. "My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation," Sen. Rand Paul said. Paul said: "With a $30 trillion debt, America can't afford to be the world's policeman. The U.S. is trying to recover from the $1.6 trillion we spent on wars in the middle east, not to mention the $5 trillion borrowed for Covid. We should not forget that the Soviet Union collapsed in large part not just because it was defeated militarily, but because it ran out of money." "In an attempt to save Ukraine, will we doom the United States to such a future?" "It is not as if we have that money lying around. We will have to borrow that money from China to send it to Ukraine," he also said. <blockquote>SEN. RAND PAUL: Reserving the right to object. My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation, and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. Economy. In March, inflation hit a 40-year high. Gasoline alone is up 48%, and energy prices are up 32% over the last year. Food prices have increased by nearly 9%. Used vehicle prices are up 35% for the year, and new vehicle prices have increased 12% or more. Yes, inflation doesn't just come out of nowhere. It comes from deficit spending. The United States spent nearly $5 trillion on Covid-19 bailouts, leading to one of the highest and most sustained levels of inflation in U.S. history. Americans are feeling the pain, and Congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can. This bill under consideration would spend $40 billion. This is the second spending bill for Ukraine in two months, and this bill is three times larger than the first. Our military aid to Ukraine is nothing new, though. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. In addition to the $14 billion Congress authorized just a month ago. If this bill passes, the U.S. will have authorized roughly $60 billion in total spending for Ukraine. For those who say this is not enough, for those of you in this chamber who say that our military spending is never enough, let's put $60 billion into perspective. According to [the Stimson Center], Kiev would become the largest yearly recipient of U.S. military aid over the past two decades. Except for the top five countries, sixty billion dollars is more than every other country spends on their entire military expenditures. If this gift to Ukraine passes, our total aid to Ukraine will almost equal the entire military budget of Russia. And it is not as if we have that money lying around. We will have to borrow that money from China to send it to Ukraine. 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. Congress authorized force and the president sent troops into the confident. The same can not be said of Ukraine. This proposal towers over domestic priorities as well. The massive package of $60 billion to Ukraine dwarfs the $6 billion spent on cancer research annually. The $60 billion is more than the amount the government collects in gas taxes each year to build roads and bridges. The $60 billion to Ukraine could fund substantial portions or entire large cabinet departments. The $60 Billion to Ukraine nearly equals the entire State Department budget. The $60 billion exceeds the budget for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy. And Congress just wants to keep on spending and spending. Our allies and partners have sent aid to Ukraine. Some of them even broke long-standing traditions by sending military assistance. Germany, Poland, the U.K., and others are stepping up to defend Ukraine like never before. In other words, it's not all about us. It isn't that we always have to be the Uncle Sam, the policeman that saves the world, particularly when it is on borrowed money. Yet the United States accounted for nearly half of what's been spent so far. With a $30 trillion debt, America can't afford to be the world's policeman. The U.S. is trying to recover from the $1.6 trillion we spent on wars in the middle east, not to mention the $5 trillion borrowed for Covid. We should not forget that the Soviet Union collapsed in large part not just because it was defeated militarily but because it ran out of money. In an attempt to save Ukraine, will we doom the United States to such a future? In the past two years, the U.S. has borrowed more money than any time in our history. We are experiencing the greatest rate of inflation in four decades. The assault on monetary discipline is untenable. Unless we put an end to the fiscal insanity, a day of reckoning awaits us. Congress should evaluate the cost of going down this path. The biggest threat to the United States today is debt and inflation and the destruction of the dollar. We cannot save Ukraine by killing our economic strength. So I act to modify the bill to allow for a special inspector general. This would be the inspector general that's been overseeing the waste in Afghanistan and has done a great job. So therefore I ask the senator to modify his request so that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 368, HR 7691. Furthermore, that the Paul Amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time, and the Senate vote on passage of the bill, as amended, with a 60-affirmative vote threshold for passage.</blockquote>