Rep. Warren G. Davidson (R-OH) told Red State this week that he would welcome a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Specifically, the Freedom Caucus member wants to know what would be considered “success” in the nation’s war with Russia.
Zelenskyy’s itinerary includes speaking to the United Nations General Assembly and traveling to Washington to speak with lawmakers and President Joe Biden.
'Tell us what you're doing with the money, and let's have a debate on the floor about this funding and not ramming it down our throats.' https://t.co/oTQhwYZIRn
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Davidson said he wants to meet the Ukrainian president or his delegation due to his reluctance to further involve the U.S. in a proxy war. His major question would be, “What would he view as success at this point?”
The House Foreign Relations Committee member praised the Ukrainian people for their fight against overwhelming odds. He asserted, however, that Zelenskyy needs to be clear on the direction the country is heading in concerning Russia.
Davidson said the Biden administration apparently believed that Russia would steamroll Ukraine. This led the Democrat to offer Zelenskyy a quick exit from Kyiv, essentially to preside over a government in exile.
The Republican criticized the administration for passing over diplomatic alternatives to continued fighting. Davidson accused the White House of discouraging diplomacy even when Zelenskyy showed an interest in a negotiated end to the war.
The Ukrainian president’s U.S. visit coincides with lawmakers considering an additional $21 billion in military and humanitarian aid.
Davidson asserted the latest aide package should be considered separately from critical government expenditures it is now attached to. “I think the smart thing would be to give that as a standalone vote if it even comes to the floor.”
Zelenskyy visited Washington last December and told a joint congressional meeting that funding they approved for Ukraine was “not charity.” He called the tens of billions an “investment” in international security and the freedom of a democratic nation.
There are increasing signs of division in Congress as many Republicans are hesitant to continue to supply a virtual blank check for the war effort. Some openly called for cutting off the funding as the U.S. grapples with an ever-increasing deficit.
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline for its annual appropriations bill to keep the federal government operational.