Rand Paul, MTG vow to oppose further funding for Ukraine war

The deadline to pass the CR is September 30.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Senator Rand Paul said on Wednesday "Today I'm putting congressional leadership & @POTUS 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."

As the Congress prepares to vote on yet another continuing resolution to keep the government operating, the disagreements over US funding of the war in Ukraine have taken center stage. The deadline to pass the Continuing Resolution (CR) is September 30.

In the new CR, there is a substantial amount of funding for Ukraine, for which funding is a hold-over from previous Congressional bills.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Byron Donalds had a public disagreement over the funding in the bill for Ukraine. Greene noted that "Your CR funds Section C and Section K of Public Law 117-328. Here’s what the law says. It funds Ukraine in multiple sections, including 2 funds with no specified dollar amount that leaves the spending up to Biden. Billions more could end up being sent to Ukraine with your CR!"

This is a function of the CR, saying that certain previous bills will be funded, and those bills contain funding for Ukraine that was approved by the last congress. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the previous congress, which passed repeated funding for Ukraine.

Republicans took charge of the House in November 2022, yet the CR continues some of the Ukraine funding initiatives of the previous congress. 

Greene cited $300 million that the new CR will fund, by covering the balances of previous laws.

The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative is also continuing to receive funding. President Joe Biden announced a new package.

In September, the DOD announced "a new security assistance package to support Ukraine's battlefield needs and demonstrate unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine. This package provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) includes equipment to augment Ukraine's air defenses, artillery munitions, and other capabilities."

That package totals up to $600 million, and includes: "Equipment to sustain and integrate Ukraine's air defense systems; Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); 105mm artillery rounds; Electronic warfare and counter-electronic warfare equipment; Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing; Mine clearing equipment; and Support and equipment for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities."

"The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements," the announcement states.

The Department of State states that: "Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than $44.4 billion in security assistance to demonstrate our enduring and steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

"This includes more than $43.8 billion since Russia’s launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $46.5 billion in security assistance for training and equipment to help Ukraine preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO."

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to meet with Congress and ask for more money. Biden has promised another $24 million in aid.

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