Rand Paul introduces bill with one major safeguard on Ukraine aid

Why would anyone oppose this?

Over $113 billion in US tax dollars have been sent to Ukraine. Sen. Rand Paul wants to know where all that money actually went, exactly.

So, he’s introducing legislation. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Paul introduced the Ukraine Aid Oversight Act on Wednesday, which the senator’s office said: “would extend the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) oversight authority to supervise American spending to Ukraine in order to detect and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Sounds good, right? Figuring out where all those billions are going?  

Nope. Last year, when Paul held up a $40 billion Ukraine spending package, insisting on oversight to track those dollars, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “If Senator Paul persists in his reckless demands … all he will accomplish is to single-handedly delay desperately-needed Ukraine aid.”

Somehow it was Paul that was being “reckless.” Apparently, there’s nothing more reckless than fiscal accountability!

Paul said of his latest amendment in a press release on Wednesday, “A little over a year ago, I proposed an amendment to the massive $40 billion Ukraine spending package that would have entrusted a proven and effective Inspector General to oversee and track how funds are spent in Ukraine.” 

There have been concerns about fraud. The New York Times reported in January, “Since the start of the war in Ukraine, U.S. officials have watched with some anxiety as billions of American dollars flowed into the country, well aware of Kyiv’s history of political corruption and fearing that aid might be siphoned off for personal gain.”

The Times continued, “Although U.S. and European officials say there is no evidence that aid to Ukraine was stolen, even the perception of fraud would threaten political support for continued wartime assistance and for the postwar reconstruction effort that Western officials envision.”

Paul said of his effort last year on this front, “My amendment was rejected, and today, over $113 billion in taxpayer dollars has been sent to Ukraine without proper oversight.”

Paul said his new bill would “provide taxpayers with an accurate accounting of how their money is spent, as well as to detect and prevent waste and fraud.”

This spending is something every American taxpayer has the right to know about. We shall see if anyone ever learns anything.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunterhttp://LibertyTree.com
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for Rare.us.