Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Coons (D-DE) visited Kyiv on Thursday and pledged that there will still be bipartisan support for providing massive amounts of aid after the upcoming midterm elections.
“I am confident that bipartisan robust American support for the fight of the Ukrainian people will continue in Congress,” Coons said.
Supporters of Ukraine in Washington have been concerned after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said a Republican-controlled House won’t be willing to write a “blank check” for Ukraine. But other Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY), have been insisting the aid flow will continue unimpeded.
Coons and Portman met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their trip to Kyiv. Portman said that he vowed the US will be backing Ukraine until it achieves victory, which for Zelensky and his government means driving Russia out of all of the territory it controls, including Crimea.
“I said the US must remain committed to aiding Ukraine to victory. I believe a Ukrainian victory is necessary to reaffirm the importance of the sovereignty of free nations and the importance of upholding international law around the globe,” Portman wrote on Twitter of his meeting with Zelensky.
After the meeting, Zelensky described Portman and Coons as “true friends” of Ukraine and said they support a “joint victory.”
While Republicans overall are expected to continue supporting spending money on the war in Ukraine, 57 House Republicans voted against the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that was passed in May, and more are said to be questioning the policy.
Daniel Vajdich, a lobbyist for the Ukrainian government, recently told POLITICO that he expects Republicans to keep sending weapons, but he worries the GOP might not support sending so much money to fund the Ukrainian government. Ukraine’s parliament passed a draft 2023 budget that has a record $38 billion deficit, and the US is expected to pick up most of the tab.