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In a 417-10 vote Thursday, the lawmakers in the lower chamber passed the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022,” which will make it easier to export military aid to Kyiv.
A Ukrainian soldier rides atop an armored fighting vehicle in eastern Ukraine. (Press service of the Ukrainian Ground Forces/Handout via REUTERS)
The passage came just three weeks after the Senate unanimously passed the measure, which means it will be sent to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The legislation will revive a WWII program that allowed the U.S. to lend or lease military equipment to allied nations, a program that was instrumental in the defeat of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Ten Republicans voted against the bill, including Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, while three others abstained.
Soldiers walk amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Biggs on Friday took to Twitter to say the reason he voted against the bill was because it did not include a time limit or “cap” on the amount of support the U.S. can provide to Ukraine.
The measure does more than provide easier lending defense options to Kyiv. It will also ease requirements surrounding weapons supplies to “Eastern European countries affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
The bill’s passage came just hours after President Biden sent a request to Congress for a whopping $33.4 billion in additional assistance to Ukraine, over $20 billion of which will include security assistance.
The request included another $8.5 billion for economic assistance and $3 billion for humanitarian aid.
Military gear left behind by Russian soldiers lay scattered near a tank during a military sweep by Ukrainian soldiers after the Russian withdrawal from the area on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The U.S. has been leading the charge in encouraging other allied nations to increase their supplies to Ukraine as Russia looks to ramp up its deadly campaign in Ukraine and possibly neighboring Moldova.
A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Friday that over the next 24 hours the U.S. will send another 12 planes full of military aid previously promised to Kyiv.