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Senate Unanimously Passes Ernst-Backed Measure to Help Speed-Up Lethal Aid to Ukraine

The Ernst-backed bill does not create a new program but streamlines the president’s authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend civilian populations in Ukraine

WASHINGTON—Overnight, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cosponsored that would help provide the Ukrainian military the equipment they need to defend their country from Russia’s unjust, unprovoked invasion.

“The Senate continues to stand united in our support of Ukraine. I strongly believe Ukraine can win this war if the United States and our freedom-loving allies and partners around the globe help them win,” said Senator Ernst. “This bipartisan legislation will streamline the process for the U.S. to provide the Ukrainians with the weapons needed to defeat Putin and protect their sovereign country, and I hope the House acts quickly to pass this bill and get it to the president’s desk.”

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 would authorize the president to enter into lend-lease agreements directly with Ukraine to help remove obstacles to lending arms to Ukraine. It would not create a new program but would streamline the president’s current authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend civilian populations in Ukraine. In addition, this legislation 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 Ukraine; and,
  • Remain in effect upon enactment for two years, with the possibility of Congress extending the authority if needed.