FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 13, 2023
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), in a continuation of his efforts to protect America’s borders instead of Ukraine’s, spoke on the floor as part of a talking filibuster to force debate on the foreign aid spending bill. Dr. Paul spoke three times during yesterday’s filibuster.
Below are excerpts from his final evening remarks:
“This bill gives the finger to American taxpayers. This bill gives the finger to all of America. This bill is Ukraine first, America last. Even more than the border issue, which I think is about setting priorities, whether or not the priority should be America’s border versus the Ukrainian border. I think that’s a big issue. And for me, it’s an easy one.
“This ought to be an American first legislature. We ought to be taking care of American problems before we think about trying to solve the world’s problems. Now, this doesn’t mean that I have no sympathy for Ukraine. I hope Ukraine kicks Russia’s butt, I hope Ukraine wins. I hope Ukraine can stave them off. And the battle has been somewhat fought to a standstill.
“But I know that my first oath of office and my first responsibility is to my country, to America. If we are to send $100 billion overseas, it will be a total of $170 billion. Never, ever in the history of the United States have we ever sent so much money to one country, $170 billion. This is about one and a half, almost 1.75 times the entire economy of Ukraine.
“Never before have we done that. But the thing is, is it’s not like we have the money sitting around. It’s not like we have a rainy-day fund or a surplus fund or, hey, here’s a bunch of money we’re not doing anything with. Our money is all gone.”
“One of the supporters of this bill said today, and I won’t mention by name, but said that people at home can’t understand a bill like this, that the elite foreign policy minds of Washington somehow can understand this more than the people. I couldn’t disagree more.
“I think every one of my acquaintances and friends and people I run into Kentucky have every much as ability, if not more ability, than the people in this room to make a decision on this. And I’ve yet to meet one who came up to me and said, I want Ukraine first. They say, I want to defend America’s border. I want to defend America, and I want to defend a country that leaves us alone, that leaves us free, that allows volunteerism to create the great and vast wealth that our country has become.”
“Ukraine can be the greatest cause in the world, but we’re borrowing the money. There is no money. There’s no rainy-day fund. There’s no surplus, and there’s no reason on God’s green earth we should be borrowing money to send it to Ukraine.
“We’re either going to print it up, which causes inflation and hurts the working class, or we’re going to borrow it, and go further in debt. So, I, for one, think that the American people are opposed to this bill. I think they’re opposed to the concept of Ukraine first and America last. And I predict that this issue doesn’t go away.
“I predict that House of Representatives is not going to take up this bill. I predict that the vast majority of the Republicans in the House of Representative are more conservative than the Republicans in this in this body, and I predict that this fight is not over.
“During this debate, the fact that we were able to delay and talk about this for five days, five and a half days, the Speaker of the House spoke out, and I don’t know that he would have been prompted to speak out, although he has spoken out previously against this.
“But the Speaker of the House spoke out today and said he’s not taking this bill up. So, they’ve put together border reform that actually would transform things. Border reform that acknowledges that it’s an emergency. So, I will be a no and continue to be a no on this bill because I think it puts Ukraine first and America last.”
You can watch his final evening remarks HERE.