WASHINGTON—After speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the weekend, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is introducing a new bill to provide additional lethal aid, including aircrafts as requested by Zelenskyy, communications equipment, and logistics support to the Ukrainian military and NATO allies.
“The United States is the greatest nation on earth, but under President Biden we are allowing the Germans, the Canadians, the Latvians, the Dutch, and the Swiss to lead in arming our freedom-loving partners in Ukraine. After speaking with President Zelenskyy over the weekend, it’s clear that every second counts, and we need to get additional aid to the Ukrainians now. This bill will transfer unused aircraft, weapons, equipment, and additional defense support capabilities sitting in warehouses across the world to fight back against Russian aggression,” said Senator Ernst.
Ernst, who has been working closely with Republican and Democratic negotiators of the Senate Ukraine aid package, is hopeful the majority of her bill will be included. Ernst is joined on the effort by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
Ernst’s bill would allow the Secretary of Defense to immediately transfer aircrafts, weapons, equipment, and additional defense support capabilities sitting in warehouses across the world—including provisions meant for Afghanistan—to Ukraine.
Ernst introduced a similar proposal to transfer lethal aid as an amendment to legislation, Postal Service Reform Act, on the Senate floor last week.