WASHINGTON (KLFY) – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy released a statement explaining his decision to vote in favor of a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, which passed the Senate earlier today.

Every Democrat and all but 11 Republicans — many of them supporters of former President Donald Trump’s isolationist agenda — backed the measure. The vote passed the Senate 86-11, three weeks after President Joe Biden requested a smaller $33 billion version.

Kennedy said he supported the aid bill, which he said also backfills U.S. arsenals, supports U.S. industry and increases oversight of U.S. resources invested in “defeating Russian aggression.”

I am voting to provide additional aid to our friends in Ukraine, and I’d like to explain why.

Every time I’m asked to make a decision about American money to a foreign country, I ask myself one question:  What’s in it for the United States of America? What’s in it for the people of Louisiana?

I make decisions on helping other countries solely through the lens of national security for the American people and the people of Louisiana. So, let me try to answer that question.

We know that Vladimir Putin has a black heart. We know that Vladimir Putin has Stalin’s taste for blood, but this fight in Ukraine is not just about Putin, and it’s not just about Russia.

It is clear to me that Putin is working with President Xi in China and is working with the Ayatollah in Iran, and this is their goal: Their goal is to have Russia win in Ukraine, so Russia can dominate central and eastern Europe. Their goal is to have President Xi dominate the Indo-Pacific and become free to make moves in Africa and South America.

Now, that is not a world that is safe for the American people. It’s just not. Weakness invites the wolves.

This is not just the fight for the people of Ukraine. It’s a fight for the people of the United States of America. It’s a fight for our national security. It’s a fight for Western values and the freedom that we as Americans and Louisiana have come to cherish and love.”

Sen. John Kennedy, 5/19/22