House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., declined Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to deliver a joint address to Congress, as he did last December, multiple outlets reported.
The New York Times first reported the denial Wednesday.
Zelenskyy is in Washington, D.C., in part, to beseech lawmakers for more aid in Ukraine’s war against Russia.
Instead, McCarthy met with Zelenskyy privately along with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and other committee chairs and ranking members. Zelenskyy met with senators after that meeting.
McCarthy’s denial, citing time constraints of a busy week, comes amid House Republicans’ struggle to beat a Sept. 30 deadline to pass spending bills in order to prevent a government shutdown.
The U.S. has sent more than $100 billion to Ukraine in military, financial, and humanitarian aid since Russia invaded in February, 2022, but Republican lawmakers are pushing back on sending any more.
“There’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine. It’s not there,” Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., said Tuesday, adding, “It’s not a good time for [Zelenskyy] to be here, quite frankly.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said the cost of Russia prevailing in Ukraine is greater than American dollars.
“This is going to be very expensive because losing people, that’s the highest price that any country may pay. And that’s important to realize because Ukraine is standing, is holding its grounds. And I think that it’s far cheaper, if I can use words like that. It’s difficult to say because people are not money,” Zelenskyy said.
“But still, I think that it’s cheaper for the United States and for the whole world rather than later sending their own children for the war for a possibility of being killed. We are protecting shared values. It’s not just words, but we are truly defending freedom and democracy.”
Zelenskyy is also meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House and will visit the Pentagon.
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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