March 9, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has invited House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit the embattled nation amid his hesitancy to greenlight aid—a request the California Republican quickly shut down this week, reports Politico.
“He has to come here to see how we work, what’s happening here, what war caused us, which people are fighting now, who are fighting now. And then after that, make your assumptions,” Zelensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview.
When informed about the Ukrainian invitation, the Speaker told CNN that he would not take the trip and blamed the Biden Administration for not acting quickly enough to aid Ukraine. Still, McCarthy held his position that the United States should not be sending a “blank check” to Kyiv, repeating a position he initially made last fall that sparked uproar from members of both parties.
“Let’s be very clear about what I said: no blank checks, OK? So, from that perspective, I don’t have to go to Ukraine to understand where there’s a blank check or not,” McCarthy told CNN. “I will continue to get my briefings and others, but I don’t have to go to Ukraine or Kyiv to see it. And my point has always been, I won’t provide a blank check for anything.”
McCarthy’s remarks addressed Zelensky’s comments in the interview about Democrats and Republicans who have visited and seen “the supply routes, every shell, every bullet, every dollar.”
“I think that Speaker McCarthy, he never visited Kyiv or Ukraine, and I think it would help him with his position,” Zelensky said.
On February 20, President Joe Biden made a surprise visit o Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, his first since the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Research contact: @politico