The Senate on Monday voted to limit debate on a nearly $40 billion Ukraine aid bill after it was initially blocked by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) last week, allowing the bill to move toward passage. The vote was 81-11, with all votes against coming from Republicans.
The bill, which allots more funds than requested by President Joe Biden, would supply Ukraine with military and other humanitarian and medical resources amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. It was previously passed in the House.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently visited Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, indicated that the upper chamber would approve the bill this week despite Paul’s objections.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up Monday’s procedural vote, a cloture vote, to limit debate on the legislation, moving past any filibusters and toward final passage.
Paul’s opposition to the bill, which he argued was against the nation’s interests, delayed bipartisan efforts to pass the bill quickly without making changes and avoiding having to send the bill back to that chamber.
Paul objected to the deal between Schumer and McConnell to pass the bill with unanimous consent, calling instead for the addition of an amendment to create a special inspector general to monitor how the aid is spent, which is unlikely to pass.
The final vote on the bill is expected later this week.