May 13, 2022

It's almost a given that the more urgent a vote, the more likely it is that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Moscow) will block it.

"Sen. Rand Paul blocked a bipartisan effort yesterday to swiftly send $40 billion in aid to Ukraine," Willie Geist said on Morning Joe.

"Senator Paul wants to create a special inspector general to see how the money is spent. Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to press for a quick passage of that bill."

"He is not even asking for an amendment. He is simply saying 'my way or the highway.' Right now, in conjunction with leader Mitch McConnell, I'm giving Senator Paul an opportunity to do that. I'm offering to hold a vote on his amendment, even though I disagree with it," Schumer said.

"Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They're only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion, and they need this help right now. Sending assistance to Ukraine is not some kind of philanthropy. This conflict has a direct and major consequence for America's national security and America's national interest," McConnell said.

"Let me ask about the package of $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. It's been an extraordinary months' long effort by this administration and those of you in Congress to get the aid to Ukraine. Do you see this Rand Paul stunt as holding this up, or will it get through quickly?" Geist asked Sen. Jon Tester.

"It should have been through yesterday. I think it'll get through next week. It should get through next week. It should have got through yesterday," Tester said.

"The point that McConnell and Schumer make on this is absolutely right. Ukrainians need this support. We all know it. And for Senator Paul to hold this up is completely inexcusable. I assume that the Senate will pick it up Monday or as quickly as it can. This could have been done Wednesday night. I mean, everything was ready to go. it is one of the problems with the U.S. Senate when you have one person that can obstruct everything.

"We had this debate in January, we shouldn't allow this. If you want to hold the floor, hold the floor. At some point in time, that has to end. When it comes to help for Ukraine, I mean, we see what the Ukrainian people are doing. They're fighting with their lives to protect their country from a tyrant, and we need to support democracy. I think that's a bipartisan effort in Washington, D.C., but yet, we have one person stop it.

"And time is important here. Getting money in a timely manner helps the Ukrainians defend themselves. It's not money, it's weapons, frankly. Half this package is defense, half is humanitarian," Tester said.

And McCain in 2017.

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