Schumer Visits Ukraine to Encourage GOP to Consider Aid Bill



Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer traveled to Ukraine to display American solidarity and urge Republicans to support additional U.S. aid. The visit coincides with a foreign aid package, which includes over $60 billion in military assistance for Ukraine, being stalled due to Republican resistance. Schumer plans to meet with Ukraine’s president and military commander to discuss how the lack of additional aid is impacting the country’s war efforts, and hopes to convince House Republicans to support further aid.

Senator Schumer Shows Support for Ukraine amid Republican Resistance

Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, made a trip to Ukraine on Friday aiming to show American solidarity with a democratic ally under attack by Russia and to urge Republicans to support additional U.S. aid. The trip is Schumer’s first official visit to Ukraine, and it happens when a foreign assistance package amounting to over $60 billion in military aid for Kyiv is being delayed in Capitol Hill due to Republican opposition.

The trip is something of a victory lap for Schumer, having successfully navigated the aid bill through the Senate this month with a resoundingly bipartisan vote after months of partisan wrangling. However, this visit is also an attempt to salvage the legislation in the House as opposition from right-wing hard-liners has led Republican speaker, Mike Johnson, to deny bipartisan entreaties to put it on the floor.

Meeting with Key Ukrainian Leaders

During his time in Lviv, Schumer intends to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and his recently appointed military commander, Oleksandr Syrsky. He aims to demonstrate how congressional delays on more aid have impacted Ukraine’s battle efforts and to appeal to House Republicans to take action before it is too late.

Despite increased Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, it remains uncertain how influential his message will be in Washington. On Friday, the Ukrainian Air Force reported it had shot down 23 of 31 Russian drones launched overnight. The drones that breached Ukrainian air defenses badly damaged residential buildings, with at least three civilians found dead under the rubble in the southern port city of Odesa, as local authorities reported.

Focus on Republican Lawmakers

Support for Ukraine’s cause among Republican lawmakers who have voted against sending more military assistance is the main target of Schumer’s trip. Over the past year, opposition to helping Kyiv has become a political imperative on the right due to former President Donald J. Trump’s “America First” worldview.

“There are many people who are torn, in the Senate and the House on the Republican side, who knew this is the right thing to do but are afraid of Donald Trump’s vindictiveness,” Schumer said. He also believes Speaker Johnson is torn, despite repeatedly voting against aiding Ukraine.

Efforts to Circumvent Resistance

Mr. Schumer has expressed that he has no intention of giving in to some Republicans’ demands that the United States focus exclusively on military assistance in Ukraine and leave economic and humanitarian aid to European counterparts. He also indicated that he and officials at the White House are exploring ways to get around House Republican resistance if their efforts failed to persuade Mr. Johnson and others to allow a vote.

“We are going to explore with the administration every way we might be able to get this aid,” Schumer said. “It’s a crucial question for the globe; it’s a crucial question for history. It goes beyond the immediate politics of the moment.”

Reporting contributors: Constant Méheut

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