According to the BBC News website, the US senator Rand Paul has managed to delay approving financial aid package to Ukraine:

Paul, who has historically opposed spending on foreign aid, refused to back the proposal which needed unanimous support.


Regardless whether we agree or not, it seems strange to me that the US Senate needs to pass it unanimously. Is it always the case? Why isn't normal majority required? Is it a special case? If so the question is:

When is the US Senate required to pass bills unanimously?


1 Answer 1


Unanimous consent is required to do things quickly. It allows the Senate to dispense with the general procedures and just get things done.

Unanimous Consent

unanimous consent – Agreement on any question or matter before the Senate that sets aside a rule of procedure to expedite proceedings. Many requests for unanimous consent (u.c.) are routine but if any senator objects, the request is rejected. A more complex unanimous consent agreement sets terms for the consideration of a specified bill or other measure, reflecting negotiations among senators interested in the measure. Examples include limiting time available for debate and only permitting a list of specified amendments to a measure.

By refusing to back the proposal and preventing Unanimous Consent, Senator Paul ensures the proposal has to enter the standard processes which take longer and allow for amendments and so on.

  • 5
    There was an example of this process recently. The proposal to keep the US on Daylight Saving Time permanently was introduced under the unanimous consent process. They expected one Senator to object, but he called in sick that day so it passed. Commented May 13, 2022 at 23:11
  • 1
    How long will the process now take?
    – Simd
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 10:11
  • @graffe We will know when it is over. The precise amount of time varies. Commented May 14, 2022 at 12:21
  • 2
    @suchiuomizu plus or minus an hour depending on when in the year....
    – Barmar
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 22:24

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