Ukrainian lawmakers are planning to send a delegation to Washington in December to meet with newly elected members of Congress to ensure bipartisan support for spending on the war in Ukraine continues, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
A red wave was predicted for Tuesday’s elections, but Republicans did not have as much success as expected. As of Wednesday night, not all races have been called, but it appears that Republicans will still eke out a majority in the House while the Senate is still up in the air.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-FL) announced his bid for House speaker on Wednesday. He recently raised concerns in Kyiv by saying a Republican-controlled House won’t be willing to write a “blank check” for Ukraine. But other Republicans have insisted the support for Ukraine would continue, and Ukrainian officials expect the aid spigot will continue to flow.
Volodymyr Ariev, a Ukrainian member of parliament in the European Solidarity Party, said Kyiv needs to work to maintain bipartisan support in Washington. “We need to maintain our contacts and communication with both parties. We need to extend it, we need to intensify it, and we need to talk to both parties for support,” he said.
Ariev said Ukraine’s parliament plans to send a delegation of about a dozen lawmakers from the ruling Servant of the People Party and opposition parties European Solidarity, Fatherland, and Holos. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky banned his chief opposition, Opposition Platform — For Life, and ten other opposition parties after Russia first invaded.
Ariev said the Ukrainian delegation will attend a security conference while in Washington and seek meetings with newly elected Democrats and Republicans. He said the delegation will propose a larger role for Congress in overseeing the aid being sent to Ukraine as one of the main Republican criticisms of the policy has been the lack of oversight.
So far, the US has authorized about $67 billion in spending on the war in Ukraine, and more could be coming soon. Congress is reportedly planning to pass a new massive aid package worth roughly $50 billion before new lawmakers are sworn in this January.