Senator Paul says Ukraine aid package would ‘tie hands’ of future administration

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A number of conservatives disagree with Sen. JD Vance’s memo circulated early Monday that the national security amendment bill contains a “hidden” clause that he believes could be a reason for the to depose former President Donald Trump if he is elected to office later this year.

Vance sent a memo to GOP lawmakers clarifying that the bill, which would send billions of federal dollars to Ukraine, ensures delivery of funding through September 2025. Trump, however, has promised to end the war in Ukraine within 24 hours of taking office, which would also end funding.

Vance’s memo said the supplemental bill “represents an attempt by the foreign policy/deep state establishment to stop President Trump from pursuing his desired policy, and if he does at all , to provide a reason to dismiss him and undermine his rule,” he said. urge the Republicans to block their passage.

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JD Vance

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, warned his Republican colleagues that the proposed Ukraine aid bill could be used to impeach former President Trump if he wins re-election in November. (Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he supported Vance’s memo Monday, arguing that Democrats are “setting up” for a possible Trump presidential victory.

“They are locking in foreign aid that will even tie the hands of the next president,” Paul told Fox News Digital in an interview. “So, I think it’s a terrible idea. But also, if the next President were to try to have a different policy, you’ll see the Democrats again start impeachment .”

“I think they’re going to try to impeach him before he takes office now, and that’s exactly what it is,” he said.

Rand Paul at the Senate HELP Committee hearing

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the Federal COVID Response Hearing on Capitol Hill on June 16, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Joe Raedle)

Mark Paoletta, who served as General Counsel in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the Trump administration, told Fox News Digital in a statement that the clause in the bill’s text is “an attempt on the hands of President Trump to be improperly bound in his next term by lock-in. Funding in Ukraine for several years. ”

“In a presidential election year, Congress should not make long-term funding commitments, especially in foreign policy, that try to tie the hands of the next commander-in-chief,” Paoletta said. President Trump has every right to freeze funding to Ukraine for approximately 60 days, given his concerns about corruption in Ukraine and how best to spend that money.”

He said, “As OMB General Counsel, I laid out the legal justification for stopping the funding, and I will do it again today.”

Russ Vought, a former member of Trump’s cabinet, also agreed with Vance’s memo and said in a post on X that Vance is “absolutely right to interpret these Ukraine arrangements” in this way.

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Biden and Zelenskyy in the Oval Office

President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., said the provision in the bill “makes it necessary to send money and spend money for Ukraine.” “

“This is in the bill,” Tuberville told Fox News Digital. “So it’s just another situation where the Democrats are doing something and working to make sure that money is spent in a particular area where the American taxpayers and this country are not.”

The Trump administration, through the OMB, withheld approximately $400 million in security assistance from Ukraine in 2019. This came just before Trump asked Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy to investigate the family of his rival in 2020, Joe Biden, and while the White House reportedly blocked an Oval Office visit from Zelenskyy in exchange for that investigation.

It was these actions that sparked the impeachment attempt against Trump, in which he was eventually acquitted.

Trump has said that if he is elected president this year, he will resolve the war in Ukraine “within 24 hours.”

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Rand Paul at the Senate HELP Committee hearing

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the Federal COVID Response Hearing on Capitol Hill on June 16, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Joe Raedle)

The supplementary package, which was on track for final passage this week in the upper chamber, would send billions of federal dollars to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific. The text of the bill includes $1.6 billion to fund Ukraine’s military as well as just under $14 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which is set to expire on 30 September 2025.

“These are the same bills that President Trump submitted to stop in December 2019,” Vance wrote in a memo distributed to GOP offices early Monday. “All Republicans voted House against this impeachment solution.”

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The Senate is gearing up for a final round of procedural votes Monday night to push the amendment package forward for a final vote this week, despite several Republicans’ opposition to avoiding a deal. time to continue filibustering. It is unclear whether the bill would pass in the GOP-led House.

A previous version of this bill that included provisions related to borders failed in the Senate last week.

The offices of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment on Vance’s memo.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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