Congress Demands Accountability from Zelensky

( – The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has made another visit to Washington D.C. in a bid to drum up support for his country’s defensive efforts against the Russian invasion which began in February 2022. His latest trip came as part of a bid to get lawmakers to support the Biden administration’s proposal for a further $24 billion package to support Ukraine. The multi-billion-dollar budget would allow Ukraine to fund humanitarian efforts as well as to pay for military equipment, but some lawmakers have expressed concerns over how the money is spent.

Republican House Speaker, Senator McCarthy, faces the difficult task of trying to unite his colleagues and agree terms of spending in a House divided not just along party lines, but also within the Republican party. The government faces a potential shutdown if no agreement can be made on spending before the end of October, and defense spending in relation to Ukraine has proven to be a sticking point for many. Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance stated his fears that the United States is simply funding a never-ending war, and Senator McCarthy has asked for accountability for the money that has already been sent to Ukraine.

President Zelensky originally requested a joint session at which he could address both the Senate and the House of Representatives in an attempt to convince all of the need to send further aid to his beleaguered country. His previous experience addressing a joint session in December 2022 had been a success, with applause from Democrats and Republicans alike. On this occasion however, Senator McCarthy denied this request citing a lack of time, but did meet in private with the Ukrainian President and a number of bipartisan representatives.

President Zelensky described the meeting in positive terms, calling it “productive”, although it did not immediately garner aid for his country. After his meeting, the small Republican majority in the House blocked the latest defense bill which would have offered $300 million to the Ukrainian war effort. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, of Georgia, spoke of dwindling public support for funding the war. She explained that she voted against the defense bill precisely because it included money for Ukraine and said that she believed that any funding for Ukraine be put forward in its own separate bill.

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