The “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act” Would Expedite Shipments of U.S. Weapons Systems, Ammunition, and Other Military Equipment to Ukraine
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger — a Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee — today voted to pass legislation that would authorize the President to enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine to provide additional U.S. military equipment. The bipartisan bill now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The bipartisan Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act would significantly enhance existing lend-lease authorities available to the White House, while also waiving several current requirements. In doing so, this legislation would make sure American shipments of urgently needed weapons systems, ammunition, and other forms of military assistance arrive in Ukrainian hands more expeditiously.
“Putin’s war against Ukraine’s sovereignty continues to be marked by the terrorizing of children, the killing of the elderly, and the rape and murder of women. When the future of democracy is under siege, the United States has a moral and national security responsibility to stand with those who share our values,” said Spanberger. “This bipartisan bill would streamline the process for providing weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian military, which has demonstrated unparalleled resolve and determination since Russia’s initial assault. By providing this new level of support, America can strengthen our efforts to improve Ukraine’s defenses, save the lives of civilians, and further protect our frontline NATO allies in the face of Putin’s barrage of threats.”
As part of his Arms Export Control Act authority, the President can currently lend and lease defense articles to U.S. partners and allies when it is in the United States’ national security interest. However, bureaucratic barriers and other limitations make these authorities impractical for the current crisis facing Ukraine.
This enhanced lend-lease authority would be specific to Ukraine to help remove obstacles to lending arms to Ukraine. It would not create a new program, but it would streamline the President’s current authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend Ukrainian civilian populations. Additionally, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act would:
- Require the President or his designee to establish expedited delivery procedures for any military equipment loaned or leased to Ukraine to ensure timely delivery to the besieged country; and
- Remain in effect upon enactment for two years, with the possibility of Congress extending the authority if needed.
Yesterday, Spanberger voted with a strong, bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass the Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, which would encourage the seizure and sale of Russian oligarchs’ assets to support Ukraine’s continued fight for freedom. She is an original cosponsor of the bill.