US lawmakers slam 'insane' Zelensky bust proposal
Conservative US lawmakers critical of the adulation of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky have rallied against a proposal to place a bust of the foreign leader in the Capitol building in Washington. US Representative Joe Wilson has suggested making a Zelensky statue a permanent feature.
Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, made a proposal on Monday to direct the Fine Arts Board to obtain a bust “for display in a suitable, permanent location in the House of Representatives wing of the United States Capitol.”
Some members of the GOP’s Freedom Caucus, which includes a conservative minority opposing unconditional support for Ukraine, expressed skepticism. Andy Biggs of Arizona, one of its leading members, asked whether Congress allocating over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine was “not enough.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said she was “absolutely not” approving the idea, adding that US lawmakers were serving “America not Ukraine.”
Popular conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson branded the idea “insane,” telling viewers that Zelensky is a “dictatorial” politician who banned opposition parties in his country and is currently cracking down on a Christian denomination. Having a bust of Zelensky at the Capitol would allow Americans to “worship him daily,” he joked.
The House introduced a bill to introduce a bust of Zelensky at the US Capitol. Ukraine is the 51st state apparently. pic.twitter.com/7uq0ZETEjg— Catch Up (@CatchUpNetwork) January 12, 2023
Carlson lamented the fact that the proposal came from a Republican and called Wilson “a pretty nice guy.” The congressman is a vocal supporter of Kiev. He led a bipartisan House delegation on a visit to Kiev in December. He also sponsored a resolution urging the US government to suspend Russia from the UN Security Council, which it has no authority to do.
Zelensky received a hero’s welcome when he flew to Washington last month. Some officials, including then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, compared him to Winston Churchill, Britain’s leader during World War II.
Last year, the US Congress approved requests for over $100 billion in spending related to Ukraine, with a large portion of it going to weapons procurement. Zelensky’s visit happened as the Congress was debating a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, which included $45 billion for Ukraine assistance.