Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to meet with congressional leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, amid Republican skepticism about approving further aid for Ukraine. Despite slow progress in the fight against Russian invaders, Zelenskiy sought international support at the United Nations before his visit to Washington, where he also met with President Joe Biden and military leaders. Zelenskiy’s agenda included meetings with leaders of the Republican-led House of Representatives and House national security committees, as well as a private session with the full U.S. Senate. While Biden and most congressional leaders still support aid to Ukraine, some Republicans have raised concerns about the billions of dollars already sent to Kyiv. The U.S. has provided approximately $113 billion in security and humanitarian aid since Russia’s invasion in 2022. On the same day as Zelenskiy’s visit, Russia launched a major missile attack on Ukraine, targeting energy facilities. Zelenskiy also sought financial help from prominent American billionaires and the Biden administration pushed for an additional $24 billion in military aid for Ukraine. However, some Republicans remain unconvinced and question the wisdom of continuing to send funds to Kyiv. Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not arrange a meeting for Zelenskiy to address the entire House, stating that Zelenskiy needed to convince him of the need for continued aid. The debate over Ukraine assistance comes as Congress faces a bitter debate over spending and a possible government shutdown. Despite these challenges, solid majorities of Americans support providing weaponry to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia.
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