What to Know in Washington: Zelenskiy Visits Congress, Biden

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has left Ukraine for the first time since Russia’s invasion to meet US President Joe Biden at the White House and address Congress in person, making a direct appeal for support from his country’s most important ally.

In his visit to Washington on Wednesday, Zelenskiy will ask Biden and US lawmakers for shipments of additional arms to Ukraine, including more sophisticated weapons, as some Republicans grow skeptical of continued American support.

  • Biden will unveil nearly $2 billion in assistance and announce moves to deliver a Patriot missile battery to help Ukraine bolster its defenses this winter with Zelenskiy’s arrival, a significant escalation of American support as Ukraine endures a barrage of Russian missiles aimed at civilian infrastructure. Read more

Plans for the Ukrainian leader’s trip were closely held and described by people familiar with the matter. It would be Zelenskiy’s first travel outside Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo/Bloomberg
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressing members of Congress virtually at the U.S. Capitol in March 2022.

Zelenskiy’s address to Congress will take place as lawmakers put the final touches on a $1.7 trillion spending bill for Biden to sign in coming days, with more than $45 billion to aid Ukraine. Yet as Republicans prepare to take control of the House in less than two weeks, prospects for future assistance have grown murky as some GOP lawmakers voice doubts about devoting more US resources to the war. Read more

Trump’s Tax Data to Be Released by Democrats After Vote

A House committee voted to release Donald Trump’s tax information to the public, capping a three-year legal saga initiated by Democrats to obtain and release the former president’s closely held financial documents.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) released a report about the Internal Revenue Service’s audits of Trump’s taxes late Tuesday, but the actual tax returns will be made public in a few days after the redaction of personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

The documents released include a report by the non-partisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation summarizing Trump’s personal and business income and tax payments from 2015 through 2020. Read more

Read the full report from the Joint Committee on Taxation here.

Dozens of audit triggers litter Trump’s tax returns, according to the report: questionable private jet expenses, large unsubstantiated charitable deductions and dubious payments to the former president’s children, among others.

Yet none of them have been seriously audited, according to the documents.The analysis from the Joint Committee found that Trump was able to use questionable deductions and aggressive tax strategies to minimize his tax bills. The data also showed that Trump and his businesses lost tens of millions of dollars while he was running for president and after he entered the White House.

Among the items the report says should merit scrutiny are tens of millions of dollars in deductions claimed by Trump and his companies, including for business expenses incurred while president and $126.5 million in write-offs over five years tied to sales from an entity that didn’t appear to be selling anything. Read more

Al Drago/Bloomberg
The House Ways and Means Committee Dec. 20.


  • The National Archives and Records Administration released another set of documents related to the storage of classified material and presidential documents at Mar-a-Lago by Trump. Read more
  • The writer who sued Trump for defamation over his claim that she falsely said he raped her in a Manhattan department store was pressed on her accusation by his lawyer during a long-awaited deposition. Read more

Happening on the Hill


  • The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to consider the nomination for the US ambassador to Russia and possibly the omnibus spending bill
  • The House will convene at noon to debate more than a dozen measures under expedited procedure

Senators could pass a $1.7 trillion government funding bill as soon as today, as conservatives criticize the last-minute legislating but haven’t explicitly threatened a shutdown. Members voted 70-25 on the first procedural vote to start debate on the measure. Both chambers must pass the measure and Biden must sign it into law by midnight Friday night to avoid a lapse in government spending, Jack Fitzpatrick reports.


  • NLRB Funding: Congressional appropriators have proposed a $25 million budget increase for the National Labor Relations Board, failing to heed unions’ calls for a more significant boost to strengthen the agency at a time when organizing efforts are on the rise across the US. Read more
  • Ransomware Reporting: The Federal Trade Commission would have to report to Congress on complaints about ransomware incidents involving foreign adversaries under the spending package. Read more
  • Addiction, Mental Health: Suicide prevention, addiction treatment, mental health, and the Covid-19 pandemic are the subjects of significant focus in a proposed deal, teeing up the Biden administration’s health department to tackle major initiatives in the year ahead. Read more
  • Medicare Provisions: The medical community expressed growing outrage Tuesday over proposed cuts to Medicare payments contained in the bill. Read more
  • Chinese Audits: Congress wants to give Chinese companies that trade in New York just two years to comply with US audit requirements or face delisting, revising a 2020 law that has put about 200 stocks at risk. Read more

Key Senator Looks to 2023 to Advance Gigi Sohn’s FCC Nomination

There’s no time left to confirm Biden’s nominee to serve on the Federal Communications Commission before the year ends, a key senator told reporters Tuesday, though she added she hopes the nomination advances next year.

Around the Administration


  • Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at 2 p.m. and the two will hold a joint press conference at 4:30 p.m.

Biden DHS Urges Supreme Court to Let Border Restrictions End

The Biden administration urged the Supreme Court to let pandemic-era border restrictions end, saying the justices should reject an effort by Republican state officials to intervene in a legal fight.

Bankman-Fried to Fly to US on Wednesday Escorted by FBI Agents

Federal authorities are set to whisk Sam Bankman-Fried to the US on Wednesday to face a range of criminal charges related to the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.

Musk’s Twitter Legal Woes Widen With FTC Probe, Police Questions

Elon Musk’s Twitter-related headaches multiplied Tuesday, with the US Federal Trade Commission widening an investigation into the company’s handling of user data and police in Southern California seeking information about an alleged vehicle assault that might involve a member of his security detail.

US Seeks Fresh Settlement Talks in Canada Dairy-Quota Dispute

The US is requesting dispute-settlement consultations for a third time over Canada’s dairy quotas, saying it has found more areas of “deep concern” and that the nation’s measures are inconsistent with its obligations under a North American trade pact.

CFPB ‘Repeat Offender’ Registry Sparks Concerns of Overreach

The CFPB’s plan to create a registry of all settlements reached by nonbank consumer finance companies is intended to spot bad actors, but some are worried the effort would hamper state and local enforcement.

Digital Dollar a Long Way to Reality in Treasury Official’s View

The Treasury Department’s top official for financial markets and stability expressed little urgency over the federal government’s need to prepare for the potential launch of a digital US dollar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brandon Lee at blee@bgov.com

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