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Tags: blackburn | salerno

Congress Forgot Their Function, and Who Pays the Bills

washington dc us capitol senate ukraine aid

A storm cloud hangs over the U.S. Capitol Building on May 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Senate took up a vote on a $40 billion package of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 20 May 2022 10:40 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Yesterday the Senate approved 86-11 what’s been called a $40 billion aid package to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked invasion of that country.

The bill is now on its way to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

But it’s not really a $40 billion military aid package to Ukraine. "Only" $24 billion goes to weapons, equipment and military financing for Ukraine. This sum also includes restoring U.S. stocks of arms sent to the region and paying for U.S. reinforcements sent there.

So where is the remaining approximate $16 billion going? A partial list includes:

  • $8.77 billion in economic assistance for Ukraine
  • $4.35 billion in humanitarian aid for Ukraine
  • $4 billion for foreign military financing program (run by the State Department)
  • $900 million for the Administration for Children and Families for refugee and entrant assistance
  • $500 million for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • $400 million for international narcotics control and law enforcement to combat human trafficking and collect evidence of war crimes
  • $350 million for the State Department’s Migration and Refugee Assistance
  • $190 million for the State Department for “Diplomatic Programs”
  • $150 million for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
  • $110 million for the State Department for embassy security, construction, and maintenance
  • $100 million for the State Department for non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, de-mining and related programs
  • $67 million for the Justice Department
  • $54 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out public health and disease detection related to Ukraine
  • $17 million for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • $10 million for the State Department’s “Capital Investment Fund”
  • $4 million for the State Department’s Office of Inspector General
  • $2 million for “salaries and expenses” to provide regulatory and technical support
  • $1 million for USAID’s Office of Inspector General

Critics, both here and abroad, have accused the United States of trying to be the world’s police force. Now it seems that we’re the world’s social services agency.

Eleven senators voted against the bill — all Republican.

An effort to stymie the bill last week was advanced by Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and fiscal conservative who used a procedural maneuver to at least delay it until this week.

"My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation," Paul said at the time. "Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill – one that I doubt anyone has actually read – and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent.”

He was among the 11 GOP senators yesterday who ultimately voted against the measure. The remaining 10 were:

  • Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
  • John Boozman of Arkansas
  • Mike Braun of Indiana
  • Mike Crapo of Idaho
  • Bill Hagerty of Tennessee
  • Josh Hawley of Missouri
  • Mike Lee of Utah
  • Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
  • Roger Marshall of Kansas
  • Tommy Tuberville of Alabama

As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen said, in a quip universally attributed to the Illinois Republican, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it begins to add up to real money."

The $40 billion approved yesterday is in addition to an initial $13.6 billion measure in Ukraine military aid that Congress approved in March, bringing the combined price tag up to nearly $54 billion — to, in theory, protect Ukraine’s border from invasion by foreigners.

Congress has forgotten that this isn’t their money — it’s the taxpayers’ money, which is becoming less valuable each day as inflation (fueled by profligate spending) robs Americans of purchasing power.

And making it even more maddening is that two years ago former President Trump asked Congress for a mere fraction of that $54 billion — $2 billion — to protect our own border from invasion by foreigners. They shot him down.

The U.S. Supreme Court held in United States v. Salerno, a 1987 case, that government’s fundamental responsibility at all levels — federal, state, and local — is to protect “the safety and indeed the lives of its citizens.”

And that’s something else most members of Congress forgot.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

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MichaelDorstewitz
Congress has forgotten that this isn’t their money — it’s the taxpayers’ money, which is becoming less valuable each day as inflation (fueled by profligate spending) robs Americans of purchasing power.
blackburn, salerno
716
2022-40-20
Friday, 20 May 2022 10:40 AM
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