Advance Notice: Briefs

Biden signs Rep. Slotkin’s Ukraine Lend-Lease bill

By: - May 10, 2022 10:49 am

Rep. Elissa Slotkin at the Lansing Women’s March, Jan. 18, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

A Michigan lawmaker’s bill designed to cut through red tape and speed the delivery of weapons, munitions and other military equipment to Ukraine was signed into law Monday.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act was introduced by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and passed by the House last month. It was signed into law Monday by President Biden after previously passing unanimously in the U.S. Senate.

Slotkin, who was present for the Oval Office signing, tweeted afterward that the bill was a bipartisan effort which was present during the ceremony.

“Rep. Spartz (R-Ind.) talked to the President about her family back in Ukraine, and we all praised the passion and creativity of the Ukrainians as they fight back [against] Putin,” she wrote.

“Passing this bill with almost unanimous support in Congress proves that Republicans and Democrats can still work together to address the key security challenges of the moment. The country needs to see that, as does the world.”

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which was co-led in the House by U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), will:

  • Authorize the President to lend or lease military equipment to the Government of Ukraine to bolster its defensive capabilities for FY 2022 and 2023
  • Streamline the processes to provide defense equipment and material support to Ukraine
  • Require the administration develop procedures to expedite the delivery of equipment to Ukraine to support its defenders

Slotkin previously said the “overwhelming” 417-10 passage of the bill demonstrated the concept that when it comes to national security, politics should stop at the water’s edge.

“Republicans and Democrats came together to pass my bill that helps cut through red tape and streamline the process of delivering weapons, ammunition and other equipment to the Ukrainians,” said Slotkin. “During World War II, the U.S. sent billions of dollars worth of aid and military equipment abroad through the 1941 Lend Lease Act to help countries fight the Nazi regime – including trucks, tanks, and planes that were built in Michigan. The Ukrainian people deserve every tool they can get to fight back against Putin’s aggression, and this bill is a big step forward to achieving that goal.”

The signing follows Friday’s announcement that the Biden administration had approved a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $150 million, the latest installment in $3.8 billion of military assistance since Moscow invaded on Feb. 24.

In a tweet after the signing, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was “grateful” for the assistance and that the signing was, “a historic step. I am convinced that we will win together again. And we will defend democracy in Ukraine. And in Europe. Like 77 years ago.”

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.