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 September 20, 2023

McCarthy intends to confront Zelensky regarding Ukraine financing

When President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with legislators later this week in Washington, the political conflict on Capitol Hill over Ukraine aid will be a central topic.

When asked if he intends to commit to another round of aid, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated he has questions for the Ukrainian president, as ABC news reported.

"Is Zelenskyy elected to Congress? Is he our president? I don't think I have to commit anything and I think I have questions for him,” McCarthy told ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott.

“Where's the accountability on the money we've already spent? What is the plan for victory? I think that's what the American public wants to know," McCarthy added.

Congress is racing toward a Sept. 30 deadline to enact a spending bill or face a government shutdown, and funding for Ukraine is a key point of intraparty conflict.

Congressional Democrats support the White House's request for an additional $24 billion to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Republican leader of the Senate, has advocated publicly for sustained defense and financial assistance. McCarthy, however, is more skeptical, and an increasing number of House Republican hardliners are adamantly opposed to sending additional funds to the war-torn nation.

McCarthy has repeatedly stated that the United States should not give Ukraine a "blank check" but has harshly criticized Russia's behavior.

"Look what Russia has done -- invade -- is wrong," McCarthy said Tuesday. "It's an atrocity, we want to make sure that ends.

"I also have always said from the beginning, no matter what the issue is, I want accountability for whatever the hardworking taxpayers spend their money on. I want to plan for victory. So no, I will listen to the American public. I will follow what happens in Congress, but I will have questions for President Zelenskyy."

After addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Zelenskyy will travel to Washington. On Thursday, he will meet with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House and visit Capitol Hill.

In his address to the United Nations on Tuesday, Vice President Biden urged world leaders to support Ukraine as the conflict continues.

"We have to stand up to this naked aggression today, and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow," Biden said to applause.

"That's why the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom."

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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