Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Washington this week to push for more aid as Congress is still negotiating a massive spending package that includes over $60 billion for Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Zelensky will meet with President Biden at the White House and hold talks with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). He was also invited by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to speak at an all-senators meeting, according to CNN.
Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a $111 billion spending bill that includes military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan over an impasse with Democrats over border issues. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also voted against the bill after criticizing the idea of more unconditional military aid for Israel.
The $111 billion spending package also includes funds for border security, but Republicans want changes to asylum laws to make it more difficult for migrants to enter the country. A source told Reuters that the Biden administration was open to the idea of immigration restrictions to get the bill passed.
While there is some GOP opposition to spending more on the proxy war in Ukraine, both McConnell and Johnson have expressed support for passing the new funding. Johnson said he was “confident” the House would authorize more aid for Ukraine before the holidays, although he later said it is “dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws.”
Zelensky’s visit to Washington comes as it’s become clear Ukraine has no chance of beating Russia on the battlefield. Sources close to Zelensky have said he “deludes himself” into believing Ukraine can win the war, and the Ukrainian leader is coming under more domestic scrutiny as there’s no end to the conflict in sight.