WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted for legislation that would expedite the delivery of urgently needed security aid to the people of Ukraine. The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, by reviving a game-changing World War II program, will streamline the shipment of weapons systems, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine. Previously passed by the Senate, this legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk.
“The Ukrainian people are determined to defend their country and their democracy, and we must continue to do all we can to support them against Putin and his illegal war,” said Congressman Cicilline. “By cutting red tape, this legislation will expedite the delivery of vital weapons, ammunition, and equipment and will bolster our efforts to provide Ukraine with the military and humanitarian aid it needs.”
During World War II, President Roosevelt’s lend-lease program delivered critical military aid to our allies defending democracy in Europe and around the world, helping to turn the tide of the war. The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act significantly enhances President Biden’s authority to provide similar support to Ukraine. This legislation directs the Administration to establish expedited procedures for delivering military equipment to Ukraine within 60 days of its enactment. Additionally, it temporarily waives several restrictions on lend-lease agreements with Ukraine.
Today’s vote follows the passage of government funding legislation earlier this year, which secured $13.6 billion in humanitarian, military and economic assistance for the people of Ukraine. These funds added to the more than $1.4 billion in assistance that the United States has provided to Ukraine since 2021. Now, Congress is working to advance President Biden’s request for a supplemental spending package to deliver additional relief funds.
On a strongly bipartisan basis, Congress has also taken several key steps to punish and isolate Russia, including the suspension of permanent normal trade relations, the reauthorization of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and a ban on the import of Russian oil and energy products. Additionally, the House has advanced the Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act and the Ukraine War Crimes Act.