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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a prominent Republican figure, has declined Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to deliver a joint address to Congress, a move that has sparked discussion in political circles. Zelenskyy is currently in Washington, D.C., seeking additional aid for Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia, and his request for a joint address was denied by McCarthy, who cited a busy legislative schedule and time constraints during a critical week.

Instead of a joint address, McCarthy held a private meeting with Zelenskyy, joined by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and other committee chairs and ranking members. Zelenskyy also met with senators following this meeting. McCarthy’s decision to decline the joint address request has drawn attention, particularly as House Republicans grapple with the looming deadline to pass spending bills by September 30 to avert a government shutdown.

While the United States has already provided substantial support to Ukraine, including military, financial, and humanitarian aid exceeding $100 billion since Russia’s invasion in 2022, some Republican lawmakers are hesitant to commit to further assistance. Representative Byron Donalds expressed the view that the House does not currently have funding available for Ukraine, and he questioned the timing of President Zelenskyy’s visit.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, President Zelenskyy emphasized the high cost of Russia prevailing in Ukraine, underscoring the human toll of the conflict. He argued that protecting shared values, freedom, and democracy is of paramount importance, suggesting that supporting Ukraine is more cost-effective for the United States and the world than engaging in a larger conflict later.

President Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington includes meetings with President Joe Biden at the White House and a visit to the Pentagon, highlighting the significance of U.S.-Ukraine relations in addressing global security challenges. The decision to decline the joint address request has ignited discussions about the role of Congress in shaping U.S. foreign policy and assistance to Ukraine amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions.