WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in our nation’s capital. He is visiting with President Biden and Congressional members, making the case for congress to continue supporting Ukraine against Russia's invasion.  

Erie News Now DC Bureau spoke with Representative Glenn Thompson (R- PA) and Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) on this, they both want to continue supporting Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s visit to the Capitol comes at a time where an aid package for Ukraine faces a steep uphill battle. We know that members are currently negotiating a supplemental $61 billion aid package for Ukraine but as of right now, nothing is set in stone.  

Senator Chuck Schumer (D- NY) said Zelenskyy’s talks with senators behind closed door was productive. Schumer said Zelenskyy outlined what’s at stake for Ukraine and the international community without the continued aid.  

Some republicans are very opposed to sending more aid to Ukraine without including Trump-era border policies but others think there’s room for reasonable compromise to continue supporting Ukraine. 

“I want to see the Ukrainians beat the Russians and defeat Vladimir Putin,” said Rep. Thompson. “I don't want to see our men and women on the field of battle, which would happen once Putin would take Ukraine. It would move on to our NATO nation or a neutral nation where, you know, we somehow were compelled to be able to be on the battlefield, which would be very costly in terms of blood and treasury.” 

“I think he made, as he did in his prior visit, in a very compelling case for why this funding is needed now,” said Senator Casey. “Anyone that doesn’t understand that hasn’t been paying attention.”  

Members are supposed to leave at the end of this week for the holidays, but Senator Casey said lawmakers should stay as long as it takes to get this sorted out, adding that it’s vitally important to not just our national security, but Ukraine's and Israel's. 

Also on Zelenskyy's agenda in DC, he is visiting with President Biden. The Biden administration wants to continue supporting Ukraine but again, we will see how much of an impact Zelenskyy's meetings here today will have on lawmakers.