"They relaxed the prohibition on the [RD-180] engines. We just gave [Russian President] Vladimir Putin tens of millions of dollars," McCain said after the US Senate passed the 2016 spending bill.
Asked whether Russia came out a winner in the US budget, McCain stated, "Yes… on the Russian rocket engines, yes."
On Friday, the Congress passed an all-encompassing 2,200 page budget that includes a provision allowing the United States to continue purchasing the Russian RD-180 rocket engines, which it uses for national defense and other space launches.
In 2014, Congress strictly limited future purchases of the RD-180 at the same time it imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia. President Barack Obama signed the final spending bill into law on Friday evening.