Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican Senator and long time libertarian has orchestrated a pause on an aid package that would assist Ukraine in the Russian invasion. The aid package is largely bipartisan and both the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Biden have advocated support for the package amongst their constituents.
The package includes $6 billion in aid for security and weapons, $8.7 billion to replenish equipment, $3.9 billion for intelligence support, $2 million for technical support for nuclear regulatory programs, $5 billion in food assistance and $900 million for refugee assistance.
Citing that he swore an oath to protect national security, Sen. Paul stated "We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy". The economy is currently staggering beneath the weight of inflation, a pending recession and supply shortages. However, the impact of the bill on inflation would be negligible at best, with a budget deficit trending downward and the spending is less that 0.2% of the size of the U.S. economy.
Instead Sen. Paul has requested that language be added that required an inspector general to review how the money is being spent. He requested that language be added without a vote on the language. Given that the support was largely bipartisan, with only 57 no votes (all from the GOP) in the house, and Sen. McConnel has voiced support for the package, the vote for the language would have likely been unsuccessful. Nonetheless, Sen. Paul has delayed the passing of the bill until next week where it is very likely to pass the Senate. Sen. McConnell has said that the package "...bears directly on America's national security and vital interests".