Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Ukraine to no success, with the Republican leader declining the invitation, according to a report by CNN on Wednesday.
The declined invitation comes amid disputes from GOP lawmakers over whether the US should continue to fund Ukraine to the tune of tens of billions.
Zelensky told press that McCarthy should visit the war-torn European state to see what Russia has done to it, noting that it would help his position. McCarthy told CNN that he has no plans of visiting the country, however.
McCarthy voiced concerns in November of last year that Ukraine should not be given a “blank check,” showing the GOP's hesitance in handing over billions to an effort an ocean away.
“Let’s be very clear about what I said: no blank checks, OK? So, from that perspective, I don’t have to go to Ukraine to understand where there’s a blank check or not,” McCarthy told CNN. “I will continue to get my briefings and others, but I don’t have to go to Ukraine or Kyiv to see it. And my point has always been, I won’t provide a blank check for anything.”
Republicans have called for greater oversight of Ukrainian aid, including calls from Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who herself has called for an audit of every dollar sent to Ukraine. The GOP has been demanding more transparency in general.
McCarthy also criticized President Joe Biden for not providing aid to Ukraine fast enough, according to CNN.