Schumer blasts Paul’s delay of $40B Ukraine package as ‘repugnant’
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for delaying a $40 billion Ukraine aid package by one week, calling the move “repugnant” and predicting the legislation will pass the Senate Thursday.
“This should already have been done and over with, but it is repugnant that one member of the other side, the junior senator from Kentucky, chose to make a show and obstruct Ukraine funding,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“For Sen. Paul to delay it for purely political motives is to strengthen Putin’s hand,” he added, noting, “the vast majority of Republicans want to see this legislation done.”
Paul objected to passing the legislation last week, insisting that leaders add language to the package to give the Afghanistan inspector general oversight of how humanitarian and military assistance is spent in Ukraine.
Paul said Monday that voters in Kentucky have applauded his effort to slow the $40 billion package.
“I went home and I had a standing ovation from 200 people at a Lincoln Day dinner, who all say, ‘Thank you for holding up this money. We need help at home. We can’t get baby formula. We can’t pour our gas,’” he told reporters.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday afternoon for a procedural motion to advance the package, 81 to 11.
The Republicans who voted against it were Paul and Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Roger Marshall (Kan.).
Schumer on Wednesday also said he would make it one of his priorities to confirm Biden’s nominee to serve as ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, praising her as “deeply experienced.”
“She is very much needed as the U.S. seeks to strengthen our diplomatic ties to the war-torn nation. Ms. Brink’s nominations will be a top priority for the Senate once she comes before the chamber,” he said.