U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said that this week is a “not a good time” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to visit Washington, D.C. with his hat in his hand as Congress works to stave off a looming federal government shutdown over funding.
With Americans growing increasingly weary of the shoveling of billions of dollars into the bloody war between Ukraine and Russia over a border conflict on the other side of the planet, a number of House Republicans are balking at another massive giveaway at a time when there are very serious issues at home that should take priority.
The Florida Republican had bad news for Zelenskyy, an international celebrity who has been portrayed as the defender of Western democracy, saying that the cupboard is bare in remarks that aren’t likely to go over well with Ukraine’s cheerleaders and many of his fellow lawmakers who seem to believe in a blank checkbook when it comes to underwriting the proxy war.
“First thing I’ll tell you, there’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine… it’s not there,” Donalds said when he was confronted by a reporter who asked about what his message would be to Zelenskyy when he comes to the Capitol on Thursday.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) on his message to Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of the Ukrainian president’s visit to Washington this week:
“There’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine … It’s not a good time for him to be here, quite frankly.” pic.twitter.com/zrUBycPgWs
— The Recount (@therecount) September 19, 2023
“And to be blunt, we’re running a $2 trillion deficit; any money we’re giving to Ukraine we’re borrowing from our future. That’s the facts. Those are the truths. You can feel how you want to feel about it, I’m here to tell you what’s right and what’s real,” he added. “I mean, look, it’s not a good time for him to be here, quite frankly. That’s just the reality, and the third piece is, what’s happened with Ukraine is frankly the fault of the leadership of Joe Biden, let’s be very clear of that.”
“So, do not, don’t put that on the backs of the American people now, if we had a commander in chief who knew how to lead instead of take naps, then we would be in a much better situation when it comes to Ukraine and global security, for that matter,” Donalds said.
Rep. Donalds isn’t the only House Republican who reacted strongly to reporters about a lack of fealty to Zelenskyy. Embattled Speaker Kevin McCarthy also had a blunt message for reporters.
.@SpeakerMcCarthy on providing aid to Ukraine: “Where is the accountability on the money we’ve already spent? What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know.” https://t.co/ruzSz75OzV pic.twitter.com/3jHvaCjTto
— The Hill (@thehill) September 19, 2023
“Is Zelenskyy elected to Congress? Is he our president?” McCarthy asked. “I don’t think I have to commit anything and I think I have questions for him.”
“Where is the accountability on the money we’ve already spent? What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know,” he said.
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