Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy will meet with lawmakers and President Joe Biden on Thursday as support for additional Ukraine funding diminishes, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Zelenskyy will go to the White House and Capitol Hill to implore the U.S. for more support in addition to the $100 billion in aid that Congress has already approved, according to the WSJ. A large number of lawmakers do not support Biden’s call for an additional $24 billion in aid amid a spending bill crisis that threatens to shut down the government on Sept. 30.
“There’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine,” Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds told reporters, the Recount reported. “It’s not a good time for [Zelenskyy] to be here, quite frankly. That’s just the reality.”
The Republican-controlled House is at odds with itself over what should be included in Congress’ annual spending bill that, if not passed by both the House and Senate by Sept. 30, will shut down the government. Adding to the dilemma is a letter sent by 23 lawmakers to the Biden administration on Thursday rejecting its $24 billion aid request for Ukraine.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to,” the lawmakers wrote. “How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago?”
“It would be an absurd abdication of congressional responsibility to grant this request without knowing the answers to these questions,” the lawmakers wrote. “For these reasons—and certainly until we receive answers to the questions above and others forthcoming—we oppose the additional expenditure for war in Ukraine included in your request.”
One of the signatories of the letter, Republican Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he’ll never support funding for Ukraine as there are more pressing issues facing the nation, such as the southern border crisis and surging inflation.
“Anyone in Congress who thinks differently should spend more time away from Washington, D.C. because most Americans are fed up with the war and the endless spending,” Gosar told the DCNF. “Congress should stop wasting money in Ukraine and focus on America’s needs.”
In addition to his meeting with Biden at the White House, Zelenskyy will have a chance to connect with all 100 senators in an open forum meeting, according to The New York Times. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy declined to hold such a forum, instead opting for a smaller closed-door meeting with Zelenskyy and a handful of lawmakers.
“Is Zelensky elected to Congress? Is he our president? I don’t think I have to commit anything,” McCarthy said to reporters, according to the NYT. “Where is the accountability on the money we already spent?”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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