‘Lend-Lease’ legislation passed in the House of Representatives will make it easier for the US to ship weapons directly to kyiv.
The US Congress has passed a lend-lease bill that will make it easier to export military equipment to Ukraine, reviving a World War II-era US weapons financing program.
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly backed the “Ukraine Defense Democracy Lend-Lease Act of 2022” on Thursday with a vote of 417 to 10, sending the bill to President Joe Biden for approval. his sign. The bill had sailed through the Senate with unanimous support.
The move revives a World War II-era deal that allowed Washington to lend or lease military equipment to Britain and other allies at low cost. The new plan will help those affected by the invasion of russia Ukraine, including Poland and other Eastern European countries.
Two months into the war, members of Congress said they hoped the law would work as it did eight decades ago by allowing US companies to quickly resupply friendly nations without having to jump through bureaucratic hurdles.
“Today, the Ukrainian people are on the front lines in the fight for democracy and against tyranny, and the United States must provide them with every possible measure of humanitarian and military assistance,” said Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.
The loan-lease financing agreement allows the USA to provide equipment to Ukraine now, with only a technical requirement to pay at a later date, essentially giving it to the kyiv government.
“Ukrainian forces have shown incredible strength and courage, and we must once again serve as the arsenal of democracy and ensure they have the full range of resources necessary to defend their sovereignty,” said Republican Senator John Cornyn, one of the main sponsors of the bill in the Senate. he said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, President Biden asked Congress to pass a $33 billion in aid for Ukraineincluding more than $20 billion for weapons, ammunition, and other military assistance.
Biden’s request includes $8.5 billion in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government and $3 billion in humanitarian aid. It is intended to cover the needs of the war effort through September, the end of the US government’s fiscal year.
“We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom,” Biden said at the White House on Thursday. “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but giving in to the aggression will be more expensive.”
Congress had previously approved $13.6 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, including $3 billion for US European Command operations bolstering US troops in the region and $3.5 billion to replenish stockpiles of US equipment sent to Ukraine.