Live Updates: Zelenskyy Visits US; Faces Resistance

McCarthy refuses to allow Zelenskyy opportunity to speak to Congress during his visit.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 21: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky walks with Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as he arrives for a meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Zelensky is in the nation’s capital to meet with lawmakers after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the US Capitol to meet lawmakers and ask for continued support for the country’s defense against Russia, senators remain divided over the aid:

GOP Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley told CNN Thursday. . . “They’re going to ask for more later. There’s no end in sight. We were told this could literally go on for years. It’s another forever war.” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, however, described funding for Ukraine as a critical “investment.”  “I’m totally committed to supporting Ukraine until we win this war and help them win that war that they’re willing to sacrifice their life for. . .”

A year ago, Zelensky faced a much different reception in Congress. Democrats controlled the House and public support for funding the war effort in Ukraine was higher. As he stood to ask for more money and weapons before a joint meeting of Congress, Zelensky was met with a packed House, members adorned in yellow and blue standing in support with Ukraine. 

Now, the Ukrainian president will return to Congress to a new speaker who refused to meet with Zelenskyy and says, “Was Zelensky elected to Congress? Is he our president? I don’t think so. I have questions for where’s the accountability on the money we’ve already spent? What is this the plan for victory?” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy asked Tuesday.

Per CNN, this week alone, McCarthy’s right flank has openly taunted members for backing Ukraine. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida posted a picture of McCarthy in a Ukraine pin and with a yellow and blue pocket square, writing, “How does this make you feel?”

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia posted a scene of Lord Farquaad calling his troops to battle from the animated film “Shrek,” tweeting, “Washington warlords speaking to the American people about Ukraine.”

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