WASHINGTON (TND) — Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly turned down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's invitation for him to visit the war-torn country.
McCarthy's decision comes at a time when the Republican party is at odds over whether the U.S. should continue to provide financial support to the Ukrainian war effort.
Let's be very clear about what I said, no blank checks, okay?" McCarthy told CNN's Manu Raju from Capitol Hill, who reported that the GOP leader had denied Zelenskyy's invitation to visit Ukraine.
So, from that perspective I don't have to go to Ukraine to understand whether it's a blank check or not."
The same criticism has been echoed from former President Donald Trump and 2024 presidential frontrunner Ron DeSantis.
In total, the federal government has provided Ukraine with close to $50 billion in economic, security and humanitarian assistance.
During President Joe Biden's surprise visit to Ukraine last month, he promised additional military aid worth nearly $500 million would be on its way soon. The new aid package will include artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems and air surveillance radars to help defend against aerial bombardments, Reuters reported.
They have effectively a blank-check policy with no clear, strategic objective identified, and these things can escalate, and I don't think it's in our interests to be getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea," DeSantis told Fox News following Biden's visit.
"I sincerely hope that when your representatives and all of the politicians get here — including Biden — they get back from touring Ukraine, that he’s got some money left over," Trump said while in East Palestine, Ohio, visiting the site where a massive train derailment caused a major chemical spill.
But during an exclusive interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Zelenskyy insisted McCarthy needed to visit his country before making any "assumptions."
“Mr. McCarthy, 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,” Zelenskyy told Blitzer. "I think that Speaker McCarthy, he never visited Kyiv or Ukraine, and I think it would help him with his position."