Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “the shadow president” and his country “the 51st state” ahead of his trip to Washington, D.C. this week, promoting opposition to billions of dollars in aid packages being sent to defend against Russia’s invasion.
In his first known foreign trip since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of his country 10 months ago, Zelenskyy on Wednesday urged continued support for the war during a meeting with President Joe Biden and a televised prime-time address to a joint session of Congress.
As news of the quietly-organized trip emerged on Tuesday, Greene took to Twitter to blast the tens of billions of dollars in Ukraine aid already approved, even as Congress is on track to approve $45 billion more.
“Of course the shadow president has to come to Congress and explain why he needs billions of American’s taxpayer dollars for the 51st state, Ukraine,” Greene said, adding, “This is absurd,” and, “Put America First!!!”
The Biden administration has said the aid is needed to protect a democratic ally against a brutal invasion, and according to the Center for European Policy Analysis, it’s proving a cost-effective way to cripple the fighting force of a top geopolitical rival of the U.S.
Republican lawmakers have been the most prominent to question the extensive resources flowing to Ukraine. This month, Greene moved to audit the U.S. aid to Ukraine, but the measure was defeated 26-22 in a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, expected to be elected House Speaker when a Republican majority takes the chamber in January, has said the Republican takeover of the House will mark the end of a “blank check” to Ukraine.
Since being elected in 2020, Greene has been best-known as one of former President Donald Trump’s loudest supporters in the Biden years.