Apr 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: McCarthy to lead bipartisan delegation to Ukraine border

Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will lead a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Europe on Thursday to visit Poland and the Ukrainian border, three sources familiar with the trip tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is McCarthy's first congressional member delegation to the region since the war in Ukraine began.

  • The trip follows President Biden's visit to Europe, where he met with NATO allies, European Union leaders, Ukrainian refugees and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
  • It also comes shortly after the U.S., its G7 allies and the European Union announced they are banning new investment in Russia and sanctioning Russia’s largest bank, as well as Russian elites, including Vladimir Putin’s adult daughters.
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also told reporters that another group of lawmakers will travel to Germany, Denmark, Poland and Ukraine's border during the upcoming Easter and Passover recess.

Details: The group will leave Thursday night, ahead of their two-week recess.

  • They will make stops in Warsaw and Rzeszow in Poland; Bucharest, Romania; and Brussels, Belgium, the sources tell Axios.
  • The focus will be on American national security interests and on accountability for how assistance money is being used, the sources said.

The most recent list of members expected to attend includes:

  • Eight Republicans: Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Michael Turner (R-Ohio), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), French Hill (R-Ark.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), and Rep Mike Garcia (R-Calif.).
  • Two Democrats: Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), both of whom are not seeking re-election.

The backdrop: Two other bipartisan groups of House lawmakers and senators have also taken trips to the region within the last few weeks.

  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led a bipartisan delegation to the border of Poland and Ukraine in early March.
  • Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) traveled to Poland in mid-March.
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