Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday announced that he would not support any spending package that includes funding for Ukraine’s war efforts against Russia.
President Joe Biden has requested that Congress approve an additional $24 billion in aide to Kyiv amid its flagging counteroffensive operation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is slated to meet with lawmakers on Thursday.
“Today I’m putting congressional leadership & [President Joe Biden] on notice that I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more US aid to Ukraine,” the lawmaker posted on X.
Paul’s opposition would force Senate leadership to go through the lengthy cloture process and scheduling a vote to end debate, The Hill reported.
Complicating matters for Senate Democrats, the White House, and Zelensky is infighting within the House Republican conference over spending cuts and the proposed aid.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has struggled to maintain control of his conference amid the budget battle, with conservative detractors threatening to boot him from leadership. Some, meanwhile, have sided with Democrats to block a procedural vote on a Pentagon funding package in a bid to secure deeper cuts.