Zelenskyy addresses joint session of Congress
Fox News reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday where he was expected to address members of Congress.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement explaining that Zelenskyy's visit "will underscore the United States’ steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine."
Nancy Pelosi calls Zelenskyy "a complete, total hero"
Jean-Pierre pledged that America's support will last "as long as it takes" and includes providing "economic, humanitarian, and military assistance."
"Three hundred days ago, Russia launched a brutal assault against Ukraine. In response, President Biden rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity," the press secretary continued.
"During the visit, President Biden will announce a significant new package of security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression," she added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also heralded Zelenskyy's arrival, praising the Ukrainian leader for being "a complete, total hero."
Speaker Pelosi, on a potential Zelensky visit to the Capitol on Wednesday: “it would bring honor to Congress” pic.twitter.com/fiVewAZqlx
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) December 20, 2022
According to Fox News, Zelenskyy was widely expected to ask in his speech for additional funding from U.S. taxpayers.
Republicans divided over Ukrainian aid
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the inclusion of $45 billion in Ukrainian aid as part of a $1.7 trillion spending bill passed by the Senate this week.
"Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the United States right now according to most Republicans," he declared on Tuesday. "That’s sort of how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment."
MCCONNELL: "Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 20, 2022
However, McConnell's claim doesn't appear to be supported by polling data, with a Morning Consult survey published last month showing registered Republican voters listed immigration, terrorism, and drug trafficking as their top three foreign policy issues.
What's more, the Senate minority leader's words sparked pushback from some within his own party, including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar.
"These comments by a Republican are an insult to the American people that Mitch McConnell fails to represent," Gosar complained in a tweet. "This is the epitome of America Last. In all my travels across Arizona, not one of my constituents said that defending Ukraine should be our top priority. Not one."