WASHINGTON (Washington Times) — Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked the Senate’s attempt to fast-track President Biden’s $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine over concerns there is insufficient oversight and transparency into how the money is being spent.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, both hoped for a swift final passage of the bill, after the House overwhelmingly approved the aid 368-57 on Tuesday.
But Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, blocked Mr. McConnell’s request for unanimous consent on the measure Thursday afternoon without the addition of language into the bill that would create a special inspector general to oversee the disbursal of aid to Ukraine.
The move was met with vitriol from both the Democrat and Republican leaders anxious to get the aid out the door. Mr. Paul’s objection will push the Senate’s final vote on the measure into next week.
“He is simply saying my way or the highway,” Mr. Schumer said. “When you have a proposal to amend a bill, you can’t just come to the floor and demand it by fiat. You have to convince other members to back it first. That is how the Senate works.”
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Senator Rand Paul is recovering at his Kentucky home following lung surgery over the weekend.
Paul, 56, underwent the procedure after complaining of shortness of breath. Physicians at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center say a damaged portion of Paul’s lung was removed and that the injury was sustained when a neighbor attacked him outside his Kentucky home in 2017.
“Sen. Paul will need to recover from his surgery for a few weeks, which will limit his travel and events,” Paul’s spokeswoman, Kelsey Cooper, said in a statement. “He will continue to work on diplomacy, legislative and constituent issues during that time.”
“Unfortunately, I will have to limit my August activities. Part of my lung damaged by the 2017 assault had to be removed by surgery this weekend,” he wrote on Twitter. “The doctors, nurses, & staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were great. I should be able to return to the Senate in September.”
Rene Boucher, who admitted to attacking Paul in 2017 in a dispute over lawn maintenance, plead guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. Paul sued Boucher and a jury awarded Paul more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses.
Calls for comment to Boucher’s attorneys were not immediately returned.
WASHINGTON — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday struck back against an op-ed written by Sen.-elect Mitt Romney in which the former GOP candidate said President Trump had “not risen to the mantle” of the presidency.
“This is bad for the Republican Party and really bad for an ability to work together in the Senate to get things done, when you take the time to attack someone’s character,” Paul said, comparing Romney to other “Never Trumpers” in the GOP. “It’s virtue signaling. They say: ‘Look at how terrible the character of the president is.’ And by doing so they are building themselves up.”
“I think it’s gonna backfire on him,” Paul said during an interview Wednesday with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “When you attack someone’s character like that, I think that’s such a low blow and so personally directed and so malevolent … He’s now called [Trump’s] character ‘dishonest.'”
Paul said that although he too had “harsh criticisms” of Trump while debating him during the 2016 presidential primaries, he’s since tried to avoid “personal characterization assassination.”
“I have still voted against the president,” he said. “Yet I choose not to go after and try to drum up a personal attack on him, which I think is just not useful.”
Essentially referring to Romney as a warmonger, Paul said Romney is “petrified” that Trump may be successful in ending war during his term in office.
“I’m absolutely all-in with the president on this. If he can end a war, he’ll be a hero that all the Independents will look at as well as some Democrats for finally being a president who ended war.”
Despite the near constant criticisms of Trump by fellow Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Paul said he thinks Romney may have “misjudged” the GOP’s “thirst for blood” when calling out Trump’s personal shortcomings.
“I just don’t think it serves any usefulness for Republican senators to be out there attacking the character of the president,” Paul said. “How the president presents himself is up to him, but I don’t think it does anyone any good to be running around saying: ‘I’m holier than thou, look at me.’”
WASHINGTON— Senator Rand Paul says he advised President Donald Trump over the weekend that the time to stop arming Saudi interests is long overdue.
“I told him that we need to cut off arms to Saudi Arabia,”Paul told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.”For over a year now, I have been trying to get Congress to stop sending more arms to Saudi Arabia”.
“It’s important to remember that Saudi Arabia is the largest state sponsor of radical Islam,” the Kentucky Republican continued. “They fund tens of thousands of madrassas around the world, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, all teaching hatred of America. They have been doing this for decades. They are not our friends.”
Paul’s urging of Trump comes in the wake of this week’s news of an apparent murder of a Saudi writer at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Paul said the journalist’s murder only represents more proof “that we need not be arming them.”
In their conversation, Paul says the president claimed that cutting off $110 billion in U.S. arms sales to the Saudis may result in Saudi officials turning to Russia or China to supply them.
An argument to which Paul says he completely disagrees.
“It’s been reported that their air force can’t go a couple months without spare parts. Their air force is entirely U.S. planes. They are dependent on us for parts, mechanics. They are entirely dependent on us. They can’t last months without our help.”
“We tell them absolutely we are not going to do business with a government that chops up journalists, puts them in little bags, and then escorts them out of an embassy and dumps them somewhere,” Paul countered.
“This is not civilized behavior. And what they’re doing around the world — hatred of America is not civilized. We have been turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia for decades. They are the worst actor out there promoting terrorism.”
Paul then went on to note that Trump himself has referred to the war in Iraq as a “big mistake”.
“He has been very consistent and strong on that,” said Paul. “The war in Yemen is exactly the same way. It’s going to lead to chaos, and it will lead to be another festering ground for terrorism.”
Is he insistent on the matter when it comes to his dealings with Trump? Yes, says Paul. And unapologetically so.
“I do bug the president. When I talk to the president, what I talk to him about is, let’s get the hell out of Afghanistan ” adding that he feels the same way about getting the U.S. out of Yemen.