Rand Paul Shocks the Senate by Demanding Oversight on $40 Billion for Ukraine

‘When government’s handing out money,’ Paul said, ‘the thieves line up as well.’ He cited how in Afghanistan, America would give millions to build a hotel, ‘and the contractor would run off with the money.’

Al Drago/pool via AP
Senator Paul during a Senate Foreign Relations committee on April 26, 2022. Al Drago/pool via AP

All sides are pillorying Senator Paul, Republican of Kentucky, for holding up a fresh, $40 billion infusion of cash for Ukraine. Lost in the shouting is that his call for a full accounting of where every dollar goes is what American taxpayers deserve.

“My oath of allegiance is to the United States and to the U.S. Constitution, no other nation,” Dr. Paul said Friday on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, laying out his request for an amendment empowering the inspector general to oversee what’s otherwise a blank check.

“When government’s handing out money,” he said, “the thieves line up as well.” He cited how in Afghanistan, America would give millions to build a hotel, “and the contractor would run off with the money.” 

He added, “Pallets of $100 bills were airlifted into Afghanistan every three months for 20 years.” The same special inspector general, John Sopko, who uncovered such graft in Afghanistan is standing by, Dr. Paul pointed out, to do the job on the Ukraine package.

In “What We Need To Learn: Lessons from Twenty Years of Afghanistan Reconstruction,” the inspector general tallied that America lavished a total of $145 billion on the doomed effort to rebuild the country and warned there are “many lessons [America] needs to learn” in the future.

The future is now, and with this $40 billion, America will have sent $54 billion to Ukraine in 60 days. “[I]t isn’t noble to give people money you don’t have,” he told host Clay Travis. “We have double-digit inflation; the lockdown has still so completely screwed up the economy we don’t have baby formula. So, yes, I think there are priorities.”

Dr. Paul says that while he sympathizes with the people of Ukraine and salutes their fight against Russia, an America that’s more than $21 trillion in debt can’t borrow yet more cash we don’t have from Communist China, mortgaging America’s tomorrow in the name of saving a foreign country today.

Note that Beijing supports Moscow in this conflict. When the Biden administration shared intelligence with China in an effort to get them to halt Russia’s invasion, the New York Times reported, “President Xi Jinping, persistently sided with Russia.”

The communist government turned around and shared that intel from Mr. Biden with Vladimir Putin. On Friday, when the United Nations Human Rights Council sought to condemn Russian atrocities, China objected to “double standards,” taking veiled shots at America for “disinformation, racism, gun violence and migrant abuse.”

Dr. Paul noted that once America hits $60 billion borrowed from Russia’s ally to fight Russia’s invasion, it’s “more or about the same that Russia spends in an entire year — plus, what Europe is giving them.

“[T]he NATO allies need to step up, and we don’t need to be the sugar daddy and the policeman of the world that we have to do everything.” Our NATO allies, however, are stingy when it comes to their militaries.

President Trump started raising the issue in 2017 because only three of NATO’s 30 members met their obligation under the mutual defense treaty to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. With America signaling a willingness to run up our credit cards, why should they risk their children’s futures to do so?

Take Germany, the wealthiest European nation in NATO. Berlin dragged its heels on cutting off the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to deter Russia before the war, sending a message to President Putin that he might invade without paying much of a price and split the alliance.

When Ukraine begged for weapons as Russia massed troops on its borders, Germany sent 5,000 helmets. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said the offer left him speechless. “What kind of support will Germany send next, pillows?” Only after two months of fighting, has Berlin relented, promising about $1 billion for heavy weapons. 

If nations in the neighborhood aren’t willing to break the bank to support Ukraine’s fight for liberty, America will answer the call in a responsible manner. Dr. Paul isn’t opposed to that role as the Arsenal of Democracy.

What he is opposed to is not knowing where our money is going. The question is why the rest of the United States Senate doesn’t seem to care.

The New York Sun

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