The law provides financial assistance to the Ukrainian military and national security forces, as well as military and humanitarian assistance, including assistance in filling US equipment stores sent to Ukraine and providing public health and medical assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
Assistance to Ukraine is a rare area of bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill
However, not all lawmakers are trying to send an additional $ 40 billion to Ukraine. Some Republican senators took note of the law’s high cost and cost overruns, and expressed concern that European countries were not providing adequate funding.
Eleven Republican senators voted against the final passage of the bill: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Boosman of Arkansas, Mike Brown of Mich Brown, Idaho’s Mike Grobo, Josh Howley of Tennessee’s Josh Howley, Mike Lee, of Utah, Tommy Doverville.
In the run-up to the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced lawmakers who “cared about the cost” of helping Ukraine, making it clear that he thought it would be a big mistake to roughly vote against the bill.
“Anyone who cares about the cost of supporting the Ukrainian victory should consider the huge cost if Ukraine fails,” he said in a comment on the Senate site.
What is in the bill
The bill would increase President Trump’s power fund from the $ 5 billion originally demanded by the Biden administration to $ 11 billion. The President’s Credit Fund allows the administration of military equipment and weapons from US stocks.
The bill provides $ 6 billion in funding for Ukraine’s defense assistance initiative, another way Biden’s administration is providing military assistance to Ukraine. Funding allows management to purchase arms from contractors and then supply those arms to Ukraine, which in turn cannot be obtained directly from US stocks.
According to the House Democrats’ fact sheet, the funds will be used to assist the Ukrainian military and national security forces and for weapons, equipment, training, logistics and intelligence support and other needs.
It will cost about $ 9 billion to help recover U.S. equipment sent to Ukraine, which has raised concerns among many lawmakers about the exchange of US-supplied weapons, especially stingers and javelin missiles.
To address humanitarian needs, the bill includes $ 900 million to increase refugee assistance.
The initiative provides an additional $ 54 million for public health and medical assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
Delay in aiding Ukraine in the Senate
As the war nears its third month, bipartisan Senate leaders hoped last week to approve an emergency finance bill to expedite the sending of billions in military aid to Ukraine.
Paul has demanded that language be included in the bill that would give the public new power to oversee how Ukraine’s aid is spent. While members of both parties widely agree with that view, forcing the bill to change at such a late stage will take time and slow down the country’s need for emergency assistance.
Under senate rules, any senator can slow down the process. It took a week for the majority leader to deal with Paul’s objection through timely practical action to be taken on the Senate platform.
“I think we need to have an inspector general,” Paul told CNN earlier this week. “We have one and oversee the Afghan waste. He’s very good at it. You do not have to wait for a meeting. He forms a team and runs it. I think that’s what we should do.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Paul for delaying emergency funding, arguing that it was “for purely political purposes” and that it “strengthens Putin’s hand.”
On Thursday, Schumacher said before the referendum that he expected the Senate to “complete another round of important military, humanitarian and economic assistance to the people of Ukraine.”
He continued, “It should have already been done, but it’s disgusting that a member of the other side, a junior senator from Kentucky, chose to block an event in Ukraine. Really stop it.”
In a floor speech before opposing the legislation last week, Paul said his oath of office was that the US Constitution was not for any foreign country and that “destroying the US economy could not save Ukraine.”
The story and title have been updated to reflect the additional developments that took place on Thursday.
CNN’s Dead Barrett and Manu Raju contributed to the report.
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