South Florida lawmakers react to Ukraine president’s speech to Congress

South Florida lawmakers comment on Ukraine president's address to U.S. Congress.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla., District 23) was in the Washington audience when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed a joint audience of both the U.S. House and Senate via video amid Russia’s ongoing onslaught on his country.

“It was an incredibly powerful speech — a speech that called on us to confront the reality of what Putin is doing,” said Wasserman Schultz of Weston.

Zelenskyy shared images with the group of the damage, destruction, and death caused by Russia.

“I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths and it’s my issue as the leader of my people,” he said in English.

As Russian missiles level neighborhoods and the country’s capital, Kyiv, remains under relentless bombardments, on Wednesday U.S. President Joe Biden announced $800 mill in military support to Ukraine.

That support includes anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles along with drones.

“We’re going to continue to have their backs as they fight for freedom, their democracy, and their very survival,” Biden said.

We asked U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL, District 25), who was also present: “Is the U.S. doing all it can do to help the Ukrainian people?”

“The U.S. has done a lot,” Diaz-Balart said. “But as President Zelensky said today, there are airplanes available in Poland.”

Wasserman Schultz said that while a no-fly zone shouldn’t be on the table, allowing planes to be transferred to Poland is a solution.

“Making sure we can provide that air cover,” she said.

The White House is against a no-fly zone as it would bring the United States in direct conflict with Russia.

On Wednesday, Zelenskyy called on Biden to be the leader of the world.

“Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace,” Zelenskyy said.

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News.