McConnell leads GOP delegation to Kyiv and meets with Zelensky – as he calls on Senate to pass $40B assistance package

  • McConnell and three other GOP senators paid a surprise visit to Kyiv Saturday
  • Video shows Zelensky welcoming delegation on street of the capital city
  • Ukrainian president called visit ‘a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine’
  • McConnell said this week that the Senate should immediately pass $40B aid bill 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday led a delegation of Republican lawmakers to Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Video shared by Zelensky shows him greeting the GOP delegation on a street in Kyiv, which remains firmly in Ukrainian control nearly two months after Russia launched its invasion of the country.

The video showed McConnell, who represents the state of Kentucky, and senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas greeting Zelensky.

McConnell said on Thursday that the Senate needs to pass a new aid package for Ukraine immediately, after the House of Representatives this week approved $40 billion in new assistance for Kyiv.

‘I strongly support the next package of lethal military assistance, which the House has passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. I hope the Senate can reach an agreement to consider and pass this legislation today. The Ukrainians need it. We need to do it today,’ he said on the Senate floor.

However, Republican Senators John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky have put holds on the legislation despite bipartisan support for the measure.

Paul wants special oversight of the money to prevent fraud. He is proposing an amendment to appoint a special inspector general to oversee the spending.