Congressman Fitzpatrick Visits Ukraine, Pledges Support Amid Military Aid Stalemate

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick made a recent trip to Ukraine and Israel.

Members of a Ukrainian Army mortar brigade fire earlier this month.
Credit: Генеральний штаб ЗСУ

As some members of his party stall efforts to provide new military aid to Ukraine, GOP Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick earlier this week visited the war-torn country.

Fitzpatrick, a former FBI special agent who was assigned to the country about a decade ago, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and pledged he would “do whatever necessary to pass our bipartisan bill providing urgently needed military aid to Ukraine and protecting democracy in the region.”

The trip came just days before the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has largely stalled and inflicted heavy losses on both sides. With western support, Ukrainian troops have held back the much-larger Russian military.

Fitzpatrick and a small bipartisan group of U.S. House members last week introduced the “Defending Democracies Act,” which aims to bolster U.S. border security and provide defense appropriations for allies Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The bill was an attempt to break congressional deadlock after House Republicans vowed to block a bipartisan plan introduced in the U.S. Senate, which received support from Democrats and Republicans in that chamber.

“The briefings highlighted the need for additional military aid on the frontlines to protect Ukrainian borders against ruthless dictator, Vladimir Putin,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

A woman is helped through rubble in the war zone in Ukraine days after the war started.
Credit: ДСНС України

Fitzpatrick, chairman of the National Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said in an interview with CNN that U.S. aid is needed to resupply Ukrainian forces fighting to maintain and retake their country from Russia’s invasion.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson hasn’t committed to bring the Fitzpatrick-supported aid bill up for a vote when Congress returns from its break next week, CNN journalist Kaitlan Collins reported.

“We will find a way to get this to the floor. Mark my words,” Fitzpatrick said on the cable network, adding that residents in the First Congressional District support Ukraine.

After visiting Ukraine, Fitzpatrick then made a stop in Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“While in Israel, I also attended security briefings as part of my role on the Intelligence Committee. These meetings with Israeli defense and intelligence officials provided insights into addressing national security and intelligence-related matters in the region,” Fitzpatrick said.

Israeli police responding to the October 7, 2023 attack.

He added: “Hamas wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Congress has a moral obligation to continue to provide defensive aid to our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East.”

Whether Fitzpatrick’s Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act comes up for a vote remains unknown when Congress returns from a break next week.

The Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act mandates a one-year suspension of entry for inadmissible aliens to secure “operational control” of U.S. border with Mexico. It would allow for the immediate detention and expulsion of such individuals by immigration officials. The proposal includes a one-year implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, with provisions for “humane exceptions” for individuals with disabilities or acute medical conditions. It also earmarks $66.32 billion in defense-only funding for strategic allies.

In a statement Fitzpatrick’s office detailed the defense spending: $47.69 billion to support the defense of Ukraine, including $13.77 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative; $10.40 billion to support the defense of Israel, including $4 billion to procure the Iron Dome and David’s Sling and $1.2 billion to procure the Iron Beam; $4.91 billion to support U.S. and allied deterrence operations in the Indo-Pacific; $2.44 billion to support operations in U.S. Central Command, including to address combat expenditures related to recent conflict in the Red Sea; and $542 million for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to address critical, unfunded operations.

“The United States must never waver from supporting freedom and democracy throughout the world, period,” Fitzpatrick said.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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