Rand Paul asks why Ukrainians aren’t paying for American weapons: ‘They should be sales, not gifts’

U.S. Senator Rand Paul weighed in on the latest decision by the White House to allocate billions of dollars of economic and military aid to Ukraine.

The Kentucky Republican spoke to Newsmax after President Joe Biden signed a bill that authorized funds to the war-ravaged country defending itself against an onslaught from neighboring Russia.

“President Biden today announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to $1 billion in just the past week, and a total of $2 billion since the start of the Biden Administration,” the White House announced Wednesday. “The assistance will take the form of direct transfers of equipment from the Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military to help them defend their country against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion.”

This assistance includes hundreds of anti-aircraft and anti-armor systems, grenade launchers, machine guns, body armor, and more than 20 million rounds of ammunition. The latest commitments come after the U.S. had already announced it would be helping Ukraine with patrol boats, helicopters, satellite equipment, and more.

While Sen. Paul explained that he is not against helping the eastern European country, he does not want to see the U.S. get further into debt and place more burdens on the American people who will ultimately be funding the assistance.

“You’re one of the few fiscal hawks left in Congress,” Newsmax host Rob Schmitt said. “It’s a reasonable amount of money. Although you know these days when they throw around trillion all the time, I guess billions don’t even really matter anymore. It’s just kind of like pocket change, isn’t it?”

“Billions do matter and I’ve insisted each time that any spending comes through Congress – whether it’s for war, whether it’s for peace, whether it’s for welfare, whether it’s for Covid – that it be offset. So I have introduced amendments in the past – these requests for arms, that they’d be paid for them,” Paul replied.

“I think that the American people should know that it should come from somewhere rather than just borrowing more money,” he added.

“Instead, most of the proposals that have gone through in recent days to weeks have just been borrowed money. So, we’re just borrowing more money and becoming further in debt. I think ultimately it does weaken us,” Paul continued.

“This doesn’t mean I don’t have sympathy for Ukraine, or actually not in favor of selling them arms,” he noted.

“But I think they should be sales, not gifts, and I think that we should not go further in debt because ultimately we are the backstop to the world,” Paul contended. “And if we are indebted to such a degree that we destroy our currency or our country who will be the backstop?”

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