U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said he was “not really fired up” about the approximately $45 billion in funding for Ukraine in the proposed $1.7 trillion federal spending bill ahead of a planned speech by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to Congress on Wednesday night.
According to the New York Times, the total amount in the bill for Ukraine is somewhere in the range of $45 billion to $47 billion depending on differing estimates. If the measure is passed into law, total U.S. aid to Ukraine would amount to approximately $100 billion since the Russia-Ukraine war started in February.
Tuberville said that he’s “looking forward to hearing President Zelensky tonight in a joint session of Congress here in the Capitol” and “will attend if possible” if votes and debates on the omnibus spending bill don’t conflict with the speech. Zelensky’s speech to Congress is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
“It’s probably good he’s coming because…we’re getting ready to give him close to $100 billion dollars,” Tuberville said in a teleconference with Alabama media on Wednesday. “That’s a lot of money. A lot of taxpayers’ money, and 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 that we need to hear from President Zelensky.”
Tuberville added, “[W]hen you put that much money out there, the oversight is so hard, so difficult to watch over that amount of money.”
“You’ve got to remember: that’s not our money,” Tuberville continued. “We’re borrowing that money to give to Ukraine.”
Tuberville went on to say he and his staff "are reviewing the (omnibus) bill very closely,” but didn’t say how he planned to vote on the legislation. A vote on the measure in the Senate could happen as soon as Wednesday, according to Politico.
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