United States President Joe Biden signed a bill that will boost Washington’s ability to provide military aid to Ukraine. The bill is inspired by a World War II-style legislation that the United States used to help allies, including the USSR.
The new bill, which will re-invoke the “lend-lease” programme of the United States, received major bipartisan support in Congress. While signing the legislation, Biden was flanked by three senior lawmakers — two Democrats and one Republican.
What will the new bill do?
In simple words, the White House-approved legislation will expedite the process of sending aid to Ukraine more swiftly. The bill will allow authorities to lend or lease military aid to Kyiv and will add to Biden’s already existing powers to do so. The White House would have to cross lesser bureaucratic hurdles to send aid.
The new measure allows Washington to send aid to Ukraine, and its allies if needed, in exchange for guarantees to replace or reimburse for the borrowed assets at a later date. The streamlined transfer of weapons would make the process faster, according to reports from CNBC.
Launched during World War II, lend-lease signaled the United States would become what Franklin D. Roosevelt called the “arsenal of democracy” helping Britain and the allies fight Nazi Germany, Associated Press reported.
Before signing the bill on Monday, Biden said from the Oval Office, “I am signing a bill that provides another important tool that directly supports the government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and their fight to defend their country and their democracy against Putin’s brutal war.”
Biden also urged the US Congress to quickly approve new financial aid to Ukraine as Russia’s assault continues. The new funding could be as high as $40 billion and may be voted on Tuesday in the United States Senate.