House lawmakers travel to Poland, meet US troops, refugees

​A bipartisan group of House members traveled to Poland over the weekend where they met with Ukrainian refugees, the Polish prime minister and American troops.

The delegation, led by minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a vocal critic of President Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine, huddled with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and the US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brezinski in Warsaw, McCarthy’s office said.​

The California Republican had high praise for Poland, which has taken in the bulk of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. ​​​

“Poland has been an indispensable strategic partner by accepting millions of refugees, working closely with our military forces, and contributing fully to NATO as we all aim to restore peace and prosperity to the region​,” McCarthy said in a statement.​

“Our visit today should serve as a powerful message to Putin that we condemn his unprovoked attacks. Evil cannot win​,” he said.​​

The delegation met with Ukrainian refugees, the Polish prime minister and American troops.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican

McCarthy said the group visited Poland to emphasize the US’ support for Ukraine, which has been battling Russian troops since the invasion was launched on Feb. 24. ​​

“The whole world is watching what’s unfolding in Ukraine,” McCarthy​ said​. “We see the atrocities being committed by Vladimir Putin, and more importantly, we see the bravery of the Ukrainian people. We are here​ — ​as representatives of the United States​ — to ensure we are doing what is right to support Ukrainians as they defend themselves and their democracy.​”

The House members also met with Ukrainian refugees in ​northeast Poland, Ukrainian officials and American soldiers in the 82nd Airborne. 

The Defense Minister of Poland welcomes Leader McCarthy and U.S. lawmakers to his residence in Warsaw.
The Defense Minister of Poland welcomes Rep. Kevin McCarthy and U.S. lawmakers to his residence in Warsaw.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican

​Rep. Mike Turner (R-​Ohio) called the meeting with refugees “heartbreaking.”​

“This is just heartbreaking to see the effects of people who are fleeing the war, with just the belongings that they could grab. With their young kids, perhaps just trying to seek safety​,” Turner told Fox News Digital on Sunday.​

“It becomes even that much clearer as you see the people who are fleeing war, that this is really just about one person. This is about Putin,” ​he continued. 

Leader McCarthy asks Ukrainian officials directly what they need to win against Putin.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy asks Ukrainian officials directly what they need to win against Putin.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican
Leader McCarthy thanks Army soldiers from California for their service in Poland.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thanks Army soldiers from California for their service in Poland.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican

​Turner, ​the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, slammed the Biden administration for failing to assist Ukraine with the military equipment it needed sooner to act as a deterrent to Putin. ​

“It would have been so much more timely if Biden had responded and provided weapons to Ukraine earlier. And seeing the logistics now and knowing that it’s happening during a conflict, during war, we would have been able to get weapons in and there may have been able to actually repel the Russian invasion instead of now as they’re fighting to try to reclaim land that Russia is bombing,” Turner​ told Fox​.

In McCarthy’s statement about the trip, he said Ukrainian officials insisted that they were able to fight Russian troops, they needed better weapons to do it. 

The Congressional Delegation ate lunch and spent the afternoon with members of the 82nd Airborne.
The Congressional Delegation ate lunch and spent the afternoon with members of the 82nd Airborne.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican

And, like Turner, McCarthy told The Post in an interview last month that Biden was too slow to respond.

​”America is not leading. Europe is leading. The weaponry​,​ it​’​s too late. … [Biden] said after [the Russians] enter I’ll do these sanctions​,” he told The Post.​

“​After you enter I will supply them with weapons. ​It’s too little too late and people are dying because of that decision. The Number 1 thing you want to do is not to have a war. You want deterrent. You want to show them the actions prior​,” he said. ​

Leader McCarthy, Rep. Michael McCaul, and Rep. Mike Garcia speak with a displaced Ukrainian who temporarily crossed the border into Poland to seek a veterinarian’s help for his dog.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Michael McCaul and Rep. Mike Garcia speak with a displaced Ukrainian who temporarily crossed the border into Poland to seek a veterinarian’s help for his dog.
Kevin McCarthy House Republican

Accompanying McCarthy, along with Turner, are Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Michael McCaul of Texas, ​Ken Calvert of California, French Hill of Arkansas, Mike Garcia of California, Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, and Kathleen Rice, a Democrat from New York and Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida.