Biden Welcomes Ukrainian President Zelensky To White House As “Man Of The Year”

 December 22, 2022

On Wednesday, hailing him as “Man of the Year” during a meeting in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House. Apparently Zelensky’s trip to Washington, DC, is the first time he has left Ukraine since Russia invaded his country. Biden went on to explain-

“By the way, we have a famous thing that occurs once a year, we pick the man of the year in Time Magazine,” …adding… “You are the man of the year in the United States of America.”

-President Joe Biden

Zelensky acknowledged Biden’s remarks, thanking him for his support, noting they would meet and discuss the ongoing challenges they faced in the war with Russia. In English, Zelensky tried to express his gratitude to Americans for the aid that they had received. He said to Biden-

“We control the situation because of support, because of your support,”  …“I really, all my appreciations from my heart, from the hearts of Ukrainians, all Ukrainians,”  [continuing in English.] “From our nations. Strong nations. All appreciations to you first of all Mr. President for your big support and leadership.”

-President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

He went on to thank the American people-

“Also, thanks from just ordinary people to your ordinary people, Americans,” adding… “I really appreciate.”… “It’s a great honor for me to be here,”

-President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

Presumably emphasizing his ongoing role as a president at war, to defend his country, Zelensky was unceremoniously dressed in a green sweatshirt, cargo pants and combat boots.

Noting that he had “inspired the world” with his leadership, Biden said he was “delighted” that Zelensky could make the trip. Biden added-

“The American people have stood proudly with them, Democrats and Republicans together with our allies in Europe and Japan and other places,”

-President Joe Biden

In stating Americas further support, Biden said he would provide Patriot missile batteries to Ukraine as well as the needed personnel to train the Ukraine military, how to use these defensive weapons. Biden went on to say-

“The United States stands with the great people of Ukraine we stand with you, you’ve been a great leader”

-President Joe Biden

Zelensky gave Biden a medal which he said was given to him from a Ukrainian captain to give to Biden, during their meeting in the Oval Office. As Zelensky handed him the medal, Biden responded-

“Well God love you,”…“Well, undeserved but appreciated,”

-President Joe Biden

Biden, in return said he would return the favor by giving the Ukrainian soldier a command coin, doing so later in his visit.

Likely wanting to emphasize the need, Zelensky’s visit takes place, just as Congress is preparing to approve another $45 billion in aid to Ukraine. This new assistance is on top of the already $66 billion in military and economic aid already given to the country.

Biden reaffirmed the U.S.'s commitment to provide aid to Ukraine in its efforts to maintain its national sovereignty, during the press conference. However, in response to Zelenskys’ visit and the press conference, some conservatives argued that the United States has already provided enough aid to the country. They noted that America's limited resources, would be better used to help citizens at home. Without denying Americas support, they continued to state that the United States should stop sending money to the war-torn country.

One such conservative lawmaker is Rep. Andy Biggs, (R) AZ, who is challenging Rep. Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker, tweeted "No more blank checks to Ukraine" in the lead up to the press conference.  Then responding to statements made by Zelensky at the press conference, Biggs said-

"Zelensky says $45 billion in aid from the U.S. is not enough. Not enough? What is enough? Enough with all of this,"

- Rep. Andy Biggs, (R) AZ

Adding to the response, Rep. Thomas Massie, (R) KY, tweeted-

 "Why is Ukraine funding buried in the bill that averts a shutdown of our own government? Why was previous Ukraine funding linked to hurricane disaster relief for Florida? Why is Zelensky speaking to Congress tonight? Because Americans are growing very weary of funding this war."

-Rep. Thomas Massie, (R) KY

-Rep. Thomas Massie, (R) KY

With the current 1.7 trillion-dollar Omnibus Bill hanging in the balance, and our own government facing a funding shut down, Zelenskys’ comments appear to be adding gasoline to the fire for conservatives in congress. The end of the year, is in a few short days. They must take-action.

Lawmakers have a big task before them, with limited time, to avoid our own fiscal shortfall. With bipartisan efforts at a stalemate, and support across the isle fading fast – this visit with its’ reminder of the vast sums of money sent to Ukraine, when resources here at home are low, was likely not helpful. Stay tuned.

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