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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to reporters as he walks through the Senate Subway at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 28, 2023 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Tell Congress to stop the Biden administration from funding wars in Ukraine and Israel

Note from LifeSiteNews: Although this bill passed the Senate, many observers have noted that it faces significant Republican opposition in the House of Representatives and could end up failing.

(The Daily Signal) — Several Republican senators engaged in a marathon of speeches in a last-ditch effort to halt $61 billion in new aid to Ukraine from passing the Senate, but came up short Tuesday morning.

“Open the champagne. Pop the cork. The Senate Democrat leader and Republican leader are on their way to Kyiv,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, citing Ukraine’s capital in a Senate floor speech and butting heads with the senior senator from his state, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is among the strong advocates of more U.S. aid to Ukraine.

The bulk of the $95 billion foreign aid package, about $61 billion, would go to Ukraine as the country continues to fend off the Russian invasion. U.S. aid also would go to Israel and Taiwan.

“They’ve got $60 billion they are bringing. I don’t know if it will be cash in pallets, but they are taking your money to Kyiv,” Paul said sarcastically of McConnell and his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

“They didn’t really have much time, really no time and no money to do anything about our border,” Paul said. “A literal invasion is coming across our border – 800,000 people came illegally in the last month. And all they had time to do in the Senate was get the money, get the cash pallets, load the planes, get the champagne ready, and fly to Kyiv.”

The speeches kept the Senate in session until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when 22 of 49 Republicans joined Democrats to approve the foreign aid package by a vote of 70-29.

Two Democrats, Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Peter Welch of Vermont, voted against the package, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who caucuses with Democrats.

President Joe Biden has made more aid to Ukraine a top legislative priority.

“My goodness. We have enough money to make hundreds of millions of our dollars available to the private sector in Ukraine,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said on the Senate floor, referring to the total amount of U.S. aid so far. “We are now literally funding their businesses, their banks, Lord knows what.”

“We’ve got money without end,” Hawley said. “We’ve got enough money to pay for [Ukrainian] bureaucrat salaries. We’ve got enough money to pay for Ukrainian government officials’ pensions. We’ve got enough money for so-called humanitarian aid that gets funneled away from and siphoned off into any manner of corrupt uses. We don’t know because we don’t have a special inspector general to oversee this money.”

Among the 22 Republicans supporting the foreign aid package was Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who made a fairly profound assertion about the bill.

“The vote we will soon take to provide military weapons for Ukraine is the most important vote we will ever take as United States senators,” Romney said, before invoking Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are not being asked to send American troops into war. We are asked to help the Ukrainians defend themselves,” he said. “If we fail to help Ukraine, Putin will invade a NATO nation. … Ukraine is not the end. It is a step.”

But Romney’s fellow GOP senator from Utah, Mike Lee, strongly disagreed. Lee contended that the Ukraine aid distracts from urgent funding needs inside the United States.

“Every senator has the chance tonight to vote no on this bill and by doing so vote to support governors, schools, hospitals, churches, playgrounds, clean streets, and safe neighborhoods,” Lee said.

Lee noted that Republicans didn’t fully use the leverage of Ukraine funding to force the Biden administration to secure the southern border. He was referring to a border security proposal that failed to gain support because, he said, it was insufficient.

“We are not helping any group of people whenever we prolong a war. It doesn’t help the Ukrainian people to prolong their suffering in this war,” Lee later added. “Republicans stand for border security and rule of law regardless of where they come down on Ukraine aid. They should realize we are forfeiting that leverage, that bargaining power, tonight if we vote for this.”

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, accused supporters of approving more Ukraine aid of being “desperate.”

“They did the most important thing. They got the $61 billion to Ukraine,” Vance said. “It’s shameful to conduct foreign policy through blank check-writing to never-ending war, and it is extra shameful to do it while ignoring the problems of your own country.”

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Signal.

Tell Congress to stop the Biden administration from funding wars in Ukraine and Israel