Sen. Tommy Tuberville on Thursday voted against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, suggesting the amount of funds sent to help the country defend itself from Russia was irresponsible.
Tuberville, who voted to approve nearly $14 billion in aid to Ukraine in March, was among 11 Republicans to vote ‘no’ on the Thursday package.
“The federal government can’t keep spending money without accountability or oversight,” the senator tweeted Thursday. “I’m all for supporting Ukraine, but we need to be responsible with taxpayer dollars.”
On a call with reporters Wednesday, Tuberville said he is “not voting against the why — I’m voting against the how.”
“We’re going from [$13.6 billion in March] to $40 billion with no oversight into how that money will be spent and utilized. It also gives too much money at one time to the State Department for discretionary spending – again, with no oversight,” the senator said. “Instead, I think we should take a step back and craft a targeted, strategic funding package that is smaller and more measured over a length of time. I’m all for supporting Ukraine. I want them to win their fight for freedom against a tyrant. At the same time, we need to be responsible with the taxpayers’ dollars.”
Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator who is retiring, voted to approve the $40 billion for Ukraine.
The aid package includes money for defense equipment, funds for migration and refugee assistance, nuclear power regulatory and technical support, emergency food assistance, economic aid and seizure of property related to the Russian invasion, according to the bill.
The House passed the package last week and the Senate had planned on passing the bill earlier, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., held up the legislation over his insistence that it include language for an inspector general to oversee how the funds were distributed.