Pritzkers meet with Ukraine PM to discuss aid from IL

CHICAGO — The State of Illinois lent a hand to Ukraine Tuesday, as Governor JB Pritzker and his sister Penny, the United States special representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery, sat down with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to talk about how Chicago-area business leaders can help the war-torn country.

“We stand with Ukraine because the spotlight of history will prove this fight to be one for justice,” Pritzker said. “Early today we met with several Illinois based CEOs and discussed their current and potential activities in Ukraine.”

Illinois has already helped in a myriad ways. The state’s National Guard deployed to Poland to help Ukrainians seeking refuge, while the state and private businesses have sent a combination of body armor, face shields, helmets, ambulances and fire trucks.

It is impossible to overestimate the value of all humanitarian assistance that Chicagoans and the people of Illinois, including the Ukrainian diaspora, have provided to Ukraine so far,” Shmyhal said.

On top of meeting with Pritzker, Shymhal has also met with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

The prime minister’s visit comes as Washington debates another aid package for Ukraine. Late yesterday, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson defied Republican hardliners by putting forth a plan to advance spending for Ukraine.

But several House Republicans are not onboard.

“Yeah, I’m not giving them anything,” said Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas).

“I haven’t supported Ukraine,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.). “We could have fixed Flint Michigan’s leads in the water program. We could have just about giving every homeless veteran a million dollars with this money.”

Johnson plans to ask lawmakers to vote separately on bills providing money for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, among other international allies. He was forced to separate the legislation because support for Ukraine is dividing his caucus.

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