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McCaul says he would call House back from recess to pass Ukraine aid if he were Speaker

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday said if he were Speaker of the House he would call the lower chamber back from recess to pass President Biden’s latest request for Ukrainian aid as Russia’s invasion progresses through its third month.

The House broke for recess on Thursday, the same day Biden asked Congress to authorize $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine. The lower chamber is not scheduled to reconvene until next week, leaving the latest aid request idle for days.

Asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” if he expects the package to pass “relatively quickly” through Congress, McCaul said “yes” but noted that he would call members back to Washington sooner.

“I think time is of the essence. The next two to three weeks are going to be very pivotal and very decisive in this war. And I don’t think we have a lot of time to waste in Congress. I wish we had this a little bit sooner, but we have it now,” McCaul said.

“If I were Speaker for a day, I’d call Congress back into session, back into work, as we’re not — we won’t be in session next week,” he added.

McCaul, who serves as the top GOP lawmaker on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said delaying the passage of the aid will result in more deaths.

“Every day we don’t send them more weapons is a day where more people will be killed and a day where they could lose this war,” McCaul said. “I think they can win it. But we have to give them the tools to do it.”

McCaul’s comments come one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led a congressional delegation to Ukraine, where the group met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They then traveled to Poland and are slated to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and other senior officials.

While the push for additional aid to Ukraine is expected to receive bipartisan support in Congress, the package’s road to passage may be stymied as the administration also pushes for more COVID-19 funding. An administration official told reporters this past week that the administration believes it “certainly makes sense” for COVID-19 funding and Ukraine assistance to “move together” in legislation.

Pelosi also endorsed that strategy on Friday.

Tags Andrzej Duda Biden George Stephanopoulos Michael McCaul Nancy Pelosi Volodymyr Zelensky

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