When asked about renewed funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he has “questions” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Where’s the accountability on the money we already spent?” McCarthy said, listing off questions he said he will ask the Ukrainian leader when he meets with him later this week. “What is the plan for victory?”
Zelensky is visiting the U.S. now, with stops in New York for the United Nations General Assembly and a trip to the White House on Thursday. McCarthy also confirmed he will meet with the Ukrainian president then.
“Look, what Russia has done — invade — is wrong,” McCarthy said. “It’s an atrocity. We want to make sure that ends. I also have always said from the beginning, no matter what the issue is, I want accountability for whatever the hardworking taxpayers spend their money on, and I want a plan for victory.”
McCarthy’s statements come as a government shutdown looms if Congress does not agree on a deal by the end of the month. House Republicans’ proposed stopgap bill does not provide funding for Ukraine, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) heavily criticized Monday on the Senate floor.
“And with no Ukraine funding, the proposal is an insult to Ukraine and a gift to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. I cannot think of a worse welcome for Zelensky, who visits us this week than this House proposal, which ignores Ukraine entirely,” Schumer said.
The White House has asked Congress to attach supplemental funding for Ukraine to a continuing resolution to fund the government. However, House Republicans are struggling to hold votes on key bills as turmoil in the caucus occurs over spending.