Apr 28, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Zelensky invites Hakeem Jeffries to visit Ukraine

Hakeem Jeffries, wearing a gray pinstripe suit, white shirt and maroon tie, speaks to reporters.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that he invited House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to visit Ukraine.

Why it matters: Jeffries played a critical role in helping House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) pass a $95 billion foreign aid bill that includes aid to Ukraine.

Driving the news: Zelensky said in a video address released Sunday morning that he had "just spoken with Hakeem Jeffries" and "thanked him and all the congressmen for their support of our country and personal leadership in advancing a new package of assistance to Ukraine."

  • Zelensky said he specifically stressed Ukraine's desire for Patriot air defense missiles, which he said "are needed as soon as possible."
  • In a follow-up post on X about the call, Zelensky added that he "invited Congressman Jeffries to visit Ukraine."

Zoom in: Jeffries played a central role in the foreign aid fight, pressuring Johnson to put a bill with Ukraine aid on the floor and supplying Democratic votes to clear key procedural votes when he did so.

  • Jeffries went as far as to allow Democrats on the House Rules Committee to vote for the package, an exceedingly rare moment of bipartisanship on a typically partisan panel.
  • A Jeffries spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on whether he plans to visit Ukraine.
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