The Senate on Thursday blocked a $48 billion pandemic relief package for small businesses on the same day they greenlighted a $40 billion military, economic and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine.

The $48 billion package was designed to provide relief for restaurants, gyms, live entertainment venues, and other small businesses in the United States.

Senators voted in favor of holding a vote on the bill by a tally of 52-43, falling short of the 60-votes necessary to move it forward.

Just five Republicans – Lisa Murkowski (AK), Roy Blunt (MO), Susan Collins (ME), Bill Cassidy (LA), and one of the bill’s authors, Roger Wicker (MS) – voted in favor to invoke cloture.

RELATED: Only 11 Republicans Put America First, Voting No to $40 Billion Aid Package for Ukraine

$48 Billion For Small Businesses – No; $40 Billion For Ukraine – Yes

Opponents of the bill to provide aid to American small businesses struggling to get out of debt, according to The Hill, cited “its impact on the federal deficit and inflation.”

Fair enough, except when you realize that on the very same day the Senate voted in favor of a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.

In an 86-11 vote, the Senate passed the aid package following a brief delay due to an objection by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in which he demanded that access to an Inspector General to monitor how the funds are being spent be added to the text of the bill.

Only 11 Republican senators voted against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.

  • Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee)
  • John Boozman (Arkansas)
  • Mike Braun (Indiana)
  • Mike Crapo (Idaho)
  • Bill Hagerty (Tennessee)
  • Josh Hawley (Montana)
  • Mike Lee (Utah)
  • Elaine Lummis (Wyoming)
  • Roger Marshall (Kansas)
  • Rand Paul (Kentucky)
  • Tommy Tuberville (Alabama)

The $40 billion package – which provides both humanitarian and military aid – was passed by a 368-57 vote in the House.

RELATED: Rand Paul Temporarily Blocks $40 Billion Aid Package to Ukraine: ‘Slap in the Face’ to Struggling Americans

America Last

Look, throwing around taxpayer money while deficits are out of control, inflation is soaring, and a recession is looming is economically illiterate to the Nth degree no matter the global environment.

But … But, if you’re going to throw around those taxpayer dollars, who should it be going to first and foremost? America, or Ukraine?

Paul, in arguing against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine last week, called it a “slap in the face” to Americans struggling to keep their heads above water.

They just got slapped again.

Paul remained consistent in his opposition to bailouts of any kind considering the current economic climate, suggesting the $48 billion small business bailout bill is little more than a “poorly-targeted spending spree.”

“Congress cannot pass a $48 billion COVID poorly-targeted spending spree if we are truly concerned about inflation,” he said in a letter.

“Democrats need to wake up and realize that dumping more money in the economy is simply pouring $5-a-gallon gas on an already out-of-control fire,” Paul added prior to the vote.

The optics, however, for the GOP on this matter are incredibly bad. Votes should have, as Paul indicates, been ‘no’ on both bills.

But saying ‘no’ to America while simultaneously saying ‘yes’ to Ukraine is reprehensible.

At the height of the pandemic, former President Donald Trump slammed Republicans for debating meager bailout checks for the American people. This was when businesses were still being shut down by blue state control freaks.

Trump warned at the time that if they didn’t provide greater relief to the American people just days before the runoff elections in Georgia they had a “death wish.”

The GOP candidates would go on to lose the runoffs, throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats.

The $48 billion small business bailout would have provided $40 billion to a relief fund for struggling restaurants.

The Hill adds that the package also included “$2 billion for gyms and fitness facilities, $2 billion for live event operators, $2 billion for bus and ferry operators, $1.4 billion for small businesses located near border crossings that were closed during the pandemic and $500 million for minor league sports teams that took a significant financial hit due to COVID-19.”

Instead, money will be sent to Eastern Europe for what Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) rightly describes as a “war effort.”

If that isn’t a slap in the face, I don’t know what is.

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