On Thursday, the Senate’s top Democrat and Republican joined forces in a rare show of bipartisanship to try to pass $40 billion in military funding for war-torn Ukraine, only to be thwarted by a rogue Republican Senator, Rand Paul, Reuters reports.
Facing the possibility of a prolonged interruption for the plan that passed the House of Representatives earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, continued to push forward on the military funding, only to be blocked by Paul, who objects to the proposed spending levels.
The impasse has pushed the bill’s approval till next week.
A procedural vote on the measure has been set for late Monday afternoon in the Senate. It was uncertain if that vote would expedite the Ukraine aid package. If any senator wishes to compel a series of legislation processes before a final vote, the bill might be passed sometime next week.
The postponement until next week might present issues for Western countries attempting to support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. According to the Biden administration, available money to draw on under a provision that authorizes the president to order the transfer of weapons without legislative permission in response to an emergency would be depleted by May 19.
Paul wants the law changed to necessitate the appointment of an inspector general to supervise Ukraine’s expenditure. Without his consent, the Senate will have to go through a long procedure outlined in the chamber’s complex rules.
Only Republicans voted against the Ukraine spending package, which passed the House 368 to 57.
President Joe Biden has requested an extra $33 billion in help for Ukraine from Congress. However, lawmakers chose to boost military and humanitarian aid spending.
Paul was promised an amendment vote on his idea on Thursday by Schumer and McConnell, which would have required 60 of the 100 senators to pass.
But Paul turned down the offer and demanded that his amendment be adopted by the Senate before the military funding package could be voted on.