Sen. Mike Lee Filibusters $95 Billion Ukraine Aid Bill

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke out for hours on Friday and again on Saturday in opposition to the $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine aid against the invading military of the Russian Federation, asking if $238 million for U.S. troop deployments to Europe means the U.S.would get more directly involved with the war.

The bill, which makes no reference to Ukraine in its title, “Removing Extraneous Loopholes Insuring Every Veteran Emergency Act or the RELIEVE Act,” would cover $95 billion worth of aid to Ukraine if Congress sends it to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Lee focused at one point during his filibuster on a provision of the bill that would spend $238 million and deploy U.S. troops to Europe, closer to where Russia’s military is fighting a deadly war.

“It provides some $238 million, roughly a quarter of a billion dollars to cover deployments of US troops to Europe,” Lee said about the Ukraine aid bill. “Does that mean we are getting ready to be more directly [ … ] involved in this war?” The bill boosts Ukrainian border security while not allocating any resources to secure the U.S. border.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) recently proposed a bill that would require members of Congress to go to the frontlines of the war if they pass a bill sending Ukraine aid: “In honor of Chuck Schumer, I’ll be introducing a bill that will require any politician who advocates for sending American troops to Ukraine to be required to fight on the front lines with them.”

Lee also disagreed with the enormous amount of financial relief payouts from American taxpayers for the Ukrainian government and businesses. He criticized the bill for covering the cost of “government employees” for a year, the income for “clothing stores” and even income for businesses that sell “concert tickets.”

Lee was one of several conservative senators who voted against aid to Ukraine a year ago, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN).

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