The House of Representatives passed a bill allowing President Joe Biden to use a World War II-era law to loan more weapons to Ukraine.
With 417 votes in favor and only 10 against, the bill was backed by both Democrats and Republicans, as was previously passed in the Senate, allowing Biden to deliver weapons faster and with less bureaucratic hurdles to Kyiv.
It is a type of legislation first used in 1941 during World War II — before the United States entered directly into that conflict — by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide weaponry to the British Armed Forces in their fight against Germany.
Just Thursday, hours before the House of Representatives voted in favor of the legislation, Biden formally asked Congress for $33 billion in supplemental aid for Ukraine, of which more than $20 billion will go to military assistance for the defense against Russia in the face of a possible longer war.
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Biden said the assistance the U.S. has sent so far has made a difference on the battlefield and helped Ukraine win the battle for Kyiv, a reference to the Ukrainian forces’ success in repelling Russian advances toward the capital.
Biden’s request for assistance includes, in addition to sending arms and ammunition to Ukraine, $8.5 billion in direct economic assistance and $3 billion in humanitarian aid.
Two months into the war, the government has nearly exhausted the $13.6 billion the Congress approved in March to provide military and humanitarian aid to Kyiv.