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Ernst-Supported Effort to Speed-Up Lethal Aid to Ukraine Now Law

WASHINGTON—A bipartisan bill supported by U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to streamline the president’s authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend civilian populations in Ukraine is now law.

“The world is watching the United States’ response to Putin’s unjust, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Defending freedom in Ukraine is defending freedom everywhere, and we need to ensure we get the Ukrainians the lethal aid they need to defend themselves. This bipartisan bill, now law, will help streamline the process of providing the Ukrainians with the weapons they need to defend their sovereign nation and remove Putin and his lawless forces,” said Senator Ernst.


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 inadequate for the current crisis facing Ukraine.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act authorizes the president to enter into lend-lease agreements directly with Ukraine to help remove obstacles to lending arms to Ukraine. It does not create a new program but streamlines the president’s current authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend civilian populations in Ukraine. In addition, this law:

  • Requires the president or his designee to establish expedited delivery procedures for any military equipment loaned or leased to Ukraine to ensure timely delivery to Ukraine; and,
  • Remains in effect upon enactment for two years, with the possibility of Congress extending the authority if needed.

Earlier this week, Ernst met with former members of the Parliament of Ukraine who pleaded for additional aid from the United States. Ernst recently led a bipartisan Senate delegation visit to Poland and Germany, where she visited a refugee processing center near the Ukrainian-Polish border and met with members of Ukrainian civil society. Following the visit, she led a bipartisan group of senators requesting answers from the Biden administration on the speed, specifics, and supply of lethal aid provided to Ukraine.

On Monday, Ernst penned an op-ed in entitled, “Ukraine must win the war Putin is waging and Biden needs to step up.”