Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech before Congress a “photo op” Thursday.
“I didn’t go to the speech, because I didn’t want to be part of a photo op asking for more money from the United States government when they have not given us a single piece of accounting on anything they spent,” Hawley said.
Zelenskyy spoke before a joint meeting of Congress Wednesday night following a visit to the White House, calling U.S. aid to the county “an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”
Some Republicans, including Hawley and Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, declined to attend Zelenskyy’s addressor refused to applaud, pointing to past corruption by the Ukrainian government. Other Republicans opposed the spending on Ukraine, saying that country’s war with Russia was not an American problem.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia introduced legislation calling for an audit of funds provided to Ukraine.
“I’m worried about putting us deeper in debt and worried about the American public,” Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Minority Leader, said. “They always come first.”
Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24 and has repeatedly fired barrages of missiles at targets in the country. The United States sent at least $52 billion in aid, in addition to another $45 billion in the $1.7 trillion omnibus legislation passed by the Senate Thursday.
The Biden administration announced the United States would give Ukraine a battery of MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missiles Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. The system consists of a AN/MPQ-53 radar and as many as eight launchers, each with four missiles, according to Designation-Systems.net.
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