'You could have heard a pin drop:' Wisconsin congressional members react to Pres. Zelenskyy's speech
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to Congress 'powerful' and are working to deliver on continued support for the European country.
"You could've heard a pin drop in the hall when we were watching that video," Rep. Ron Kind (D - La Crosse) told reporters in a video conference, referring to a video during the speech which showed destruction in Ukraine.
Kind said the speech was a unifying moment for the United States to keep up supporting efforts.
"We now are scrubbing every weapons system, every list that we have to see, what more we can be doing to help them defend themselves against this unlawful aggression," Kind said.
On top of sanctions and aid, Kind said the government is working to expedite special immigration visas for Ukrainians with family already in the U.S.
Republicans like Rep. Bryan Steil (R - Janesville) said he wants to see the U.S. boost its own energy independence to continue inflicting pain on Russia's economy.
"We need to do that to a level to where we can export energy, oil and natural gas to Europe to allow them to decouple themselves from their dependence of Russian energy supplies," Steil told CBS 58.
Zelenskyy's speech centered around a call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. That is something both Democrats and Republicans agree is not in America's interest right now.
"It would require U.S. and NATO pilots to be flying that airspace which means chance of confrontation with Russian jets is very high," Kind said. "That's World War III."
"I do not think now is the time that the United States military should be engaged directly in the country of Ukraine," Steil said. "But I do think there's a lot of tools in the toolkit for the United States to continue to assist and provide support to the people of Ukraine."
Steil will participate in a House Financial Services Committee, which he is a part of, on Thursday. The committee is set to discuss financial sanctions against Russia.