U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) is hopeful Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will outline how American tax dollars are being spent during his address to a joint session of Congress tonight.
Included in the government funding bill before the U.S. Senate is an additional $45 billion in aid to the embattled country.
Alabama’s junior senator, who voted against the $40 billion Ukrainian aid package passed by Congress in May, told reporters that he was not pleased with the price tag attached to the omnibus package.
“You know, I didn’t support the $40 billion because I thought it was too much at one time. I’m not really fired up about $45 billion at one time,” Tuberville said Wednesday during media availability. “Sometimes, you put that much money out there and the oversight is so hard, so difficult to watch over that amount of money.
“Now you’ve got to remember, that’s not our money. We’re borrowing that money to give to Ukraine.”
Regarding the war efforts, Tuberville heaped praise upon the Ukrainian citizens in their ongoing fight to fend off invading Russian forces.
“I’ve supported President Zelensky. I’ve met him, went out to visit him a few months before the war started, getting close to over a year now. They’ve fought hard,” he said. “I think Putin has bitten off more than he can chew, and he knew that very quickly. You’ve got to give it to the Ukrainian people. They love their country and they’re fighting for their country.
“Now, I’m looking forward to hearing from President Zelensky tonight in a joint session of Congress here in the Capitol. I will attend if possible. Again, we have votes going on. We have things going on here that we have to do with the omnibus in terms of debating amendments. So, hoping I get to go. If not, I’ll be able to read what he said.”
According to the senator, it is incumbent upon Zelensky to make American taxpayers aware of how the aid is being utilized. Tuberville said it was “probably good” the Ukrainian president will address Congress given that American taxpayers will soon have given Ukraine nearly $100 billion in aid.
“(T)hat’s a lot of money, a lot of the taxpayers’ money,” he said. “The taxpayers of this country need to know what it’s being used for, why it’s being used, and that it’s being accounted for.
“I think that’s one of the big things we need to hear from President Zelensky.”