Rand Paul: Withdraw Ukraine money if you want to avoid shutdown

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reiterated his threat Thursday to hold up a Senate government funding bill because it includes more than $6 billion in funding for Ukraine. 

Paul wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that he would only allow a vote on the spending stopgap before the Sept. 30 deadline for funding government if Senate leaders pull out the money for Ukraine.  

“To avoid a government shutdown, I will consent to an expedited vote on a clean CR without Ukraine aid on it. If leadership insists on funding another country’s government at the expense of our own government, all blame rests with their intransigence,” he wrote. 

So far, neither Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) nor Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have signaled any willingness to pull the Ukraine money out of the bill.

“I’m comfortable with the way we put together the Senate bill,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday. 

Anticipating Paul’s objections to speeding up the floor debate, leaders have told rank-and-file senators to expect to vote through Sunday to get the temporary funding measure through the Senate. It would fund the government until Nov. 17. 

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