As Congress struggles to work out a continuing resolution before a government shutdown at the end of the month, Senator Rand Paul has vowed that he will not allow more US spending on Ukraine to be a part of any such plan.
Paul’s comments come in the midst of a visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who is reportedly seeking an additional $24 billion in U.S. aid to help his country’s war against an invading Russia.
The senator says America has done enough.
“Today I am putting leadership of the House, the Senate, and the President of the United States on notice. I will not consent to the expedited passage of any spending measure providing more American aid to Ukraine,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for The American Conservative on Wednesday.
“Simply put: We have no extra money to send to Ukraine,” he noted. “Our deficit this year will exceed $1.5 trillion.”
Portions of Paul’s op-ed were part of his floor statement in the Senate on Wednesday.
The US has already sent $76 billion to Ukraine to date since Russia invaded the country in February 2022.
The Kentucky Republican also called out Ukraine as a “corrupt regime” during an interview on Fox Business on Thursday.
In his op-ed, Paul brought up the optics of Ukraine’s president yet again coming to the US, hat in hand, for more of American tax dollars and asks by what metric is such aid ever supposed to end.
The senator wrote, “This week, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Washington to lobby Congress to approve the Biden administration’s $24 billion supplemental aid request.”
“When will the aid requests end? When will the war end?” Paul asked. “Can someone explain what victory in Ukraine looks like? President Biden certainly can’t. His administration has failed to articulate a clear strategy or objective in this war, and Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive has failed to make meaningful gains in the east.”
Reports have indicated that lawmakers and particularly many Republicans haven’t been as warm to Zelensky and his requests as the last time he visited the US.
“With no clear end in sight, it looks increasingly likely that Ukraine will be yet another endless quagmire funded by the American taxpayer,” Paul lamented.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said in an interview on Sunday that a Ukraine victory in which Russian forces were expelled was “very unlikely” anytime soon.