Zelensky gathered with around 70 senators and members of House leadership to appeal for continued aid as the fate of President Joe Biden’s request for $24 billion in additional Ukraine funding remains unclear. The Ukrainian leader projected optimism to lawmakers and reporters, despite his visit occurring on the heels of an expected government shutdown and amid fraying support from House Republicans for U.S. involvement in the conflict.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), facing a rebellion from the right flank of his conference that opposed Ukraine funding, hosted Zelensky in his office alongside committee and party leaders from both sides. The House speaker did not allow official photographers in the room, and he did not post about the meeting on social media.
He also declined to join House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) outside the Capitol to greet Zelensky upon his arrival.
McCarthy confirmed he turned down Zelensky’s request for a joint session of Congress, which former House