President Biden’s administration will send Patriot missiles to Ukraine for the first time on Wednesday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Washington to address Congress.
The Patriot missiles, the country’s most advanced air defense system, will come as part of a $2 billion security aid package for Ukraine that Biden is expected to announce Wednesday, according to Axios. Zelenskyy left Ukraine to visit Washington, D.C. for the first time since Russia’s invasion of his country began in February.
Congress has already approved $65 billion in aid for Ukraine, but lawmakers are now debating an additional $45 billion.
The Ukrainian president is expected to praise lawmakers for their support as his nation fights off an unprovoked invasion by Russia. Zelenskyy is also expected to argue that the war is by no means won and that more help is needed.
Lawmakers are negotiating over a $1.7 trillion budget bill that, if passed as is, includes $45 billion for Ukraine. The legislation appears to have widespread support among Democrats and many Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is all-in on supporting Ukraine, while Republicans in the House have expressed moderate skepticism.
‘Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the No. 1 priority for the United States right now according to most Republicans,’ McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has stated that he does not want to give Ukraine a ‘blank check,’ but has said he supports aid for the country.
Several other Republicans have argued that the U.S. needs to invest more effort in tracking how the aid is used.
Fox News’s Haris Alic contributed to this report.