- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2022

The Senate voted to advance consideration of President Biden’s $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package Monday, with Republicans splitting on the topic.

In an 81-11 vote, the Senate approved a motion to initiate debate on the legislation. Since the aid package is proceeding under standard Senate rules, at least 60-votes were needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.

“We have a moral obligation to pass this assistance as soon as we can,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. “The vast majority of us in this chamber are united in getting this done as quickly as possible, including myself and the republican leader.”

More than 30 Republicans voted with all 50 Senate Democrats to advance the bill. Lawmakers will now take at least two days to publicly deliberate the package, with final passage expected as soon as Wednesday.  

Mr. Schumer originally hoped to push the package through last week, but procedural hurdles arose from a contingent of Senate Republicans.

Led by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the GOP renegades refused to expedite consideration of the bill without the inclusion of language creating a special inspector general to oversee the money was not pilfered through corruption.

SEE ALSO: Belarus stages troops near Ukraine, complicating Kyiv’s strategy, says U.K. intelligence

Mr. Paul said there needed to be more oversight into how the money was being spent. The libertarian lawmaker also argued it was inappropriate for Congress to rush through the bill without taking into account the impact on inflation.

“We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” Mr. Paul said. “Inflation doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it comes from deficit spending.”

“The United States spent nearly $5 trillion on COVID-19 bailouts, leading to one of the highest and most sustained levels of inflation in U.S. history,” he said.

Eleven Republicans agreed, as evidenced by Monday’s vote. The rebellion echoes that made by 57 House Republicans last week when bucking the overwhelming majority of their party to oppose the package.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide