Eleven GOP senators on Monday voted against advancing a nearly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine despite significant bipartisan support.
The Republican senators opposed to the plan were Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
Eighty-one other senators from both sides of the aisle voted in favor of the package.
The measure had been stalled in the chamber after easily passing the House last week because of an objection by Paul. The vote in the Senate on Monday to end debate on a motion to proceed sets up a final vote on the aid package later this week.
Hawley defended his vote in a Monday tweet where he said “spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid – more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined – is not in America’s interests.”
“It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ [sic] no meaningful oversight,” he added.
On Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Hagerty said the day before the vote that he had wanted to see more money invested at home.
“I certainly don’t have anything against the Ukrainians. We want to see them win, but pumping more aid into that country when we’re not taking care of our own country — the best thing that [President] Biden could do is stop the war that he’s waged on American industry,” Hagerty said.
Paul had blocked advancing the bill last week because he wanted an inspector general to oversee the package’s spending. However, adding that provision would require another vote in the House, which extended the timeline of the package’s passage.
Biden administration officials wrote to Congress last week urging passage of the bill by May 19 before existing aid ran out.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced support of the package and of Ukraine’s requests for assistance.
“Ukraine is not asking anybody else to fight their fight,” he said in a statement after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv over the weekend. “They only ask for the tools they need for self-defense.”
The assistance package passed with a large majority in the House by a vote of 368 to 57. Republicans there also made up all of the “no” votes.
The request was larger than the $33 billion Biden asked Congress to authorize last month that includes an additional $3.4 billion for military and humanitarian assistance.
Read Full Story At: The Hill.