Scoop: Ukrainian ambassador to visit Capitol Hill
Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, plans to speak to senators at the Capitol on Monday evening, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: The visit comes as Russia's invasion grinds into its fifth day, and as lawmakers return from recess. They will begin hammering out the details of a potential multi-billion dollar aid package to Ukraine.
- The White House has asked Congress for $6.4 billion in supplemental funding to respond to the invasion, including $2.9 billion in direct humanitarian, economic and security assistance to the region.
The details: Markarova is being hosted by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chairs of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.
- More than a dozen senators from both parties are expected to attend the 6pm ET meeting, the source said.
- Portman's office confirmed the plans to Axios.
What they're saying: Drew Nirenberg, a spokesperson for Portman, told Axios the senators and Markarova will engage in a "wide-ranging discussion."
- Topics will include "the situation on the ground" and "additional action Congress and the administration can take in the coming days to help the Ukrainian people as they continue to fight for their freedom," he said.
What's next: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Monday morning she "will have to see what the need is," in terms of aid to Ukraine, before committing to a number.
- "Whatever it is, we will support it," she added. "We'll see what the president sends down."
- Asked whether a vote could happen this week, Pelosi said: "Can't vote on it until we have a number. We'll see what the president has to say tomorrow night," during his State of the Union address.
Editor’s note: Updates with comment from Portman spokesperson.