Biden signs bill reviving WWII lend-lease program for Ukraine
President Biden on Monday signed a bill reviving the World War II lend-lease program for Ukraine, allowing the U.S. to supply weapons to the country more quickly.
The big picture: The signing of the bill falls on Russia's Victory Day, an annual commemoration of the Soviet Union's defeat of the Nazis in World War II.
- Putin attempted to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a Victory Day speech on Monday, railing against NATO and continuing to refer to the government in Kyiv as "Nazis."
Driving the news: The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a vote of 417 to 10, allows the Biden administration to loan weapons to Ukraine more quickly by reducing bureaucratic hurdles.
- The bill comes as Biden has practically exhausted the military assistance he can send to Ukraine through his presidential drawdown authority. The president announced an additional $150 million in military aid on Friday.
- Biden has also requested $33 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine from Congress.
What he's saying: "I’m signing a bill that provides another important tool in our efforts to support the government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in their fight to defend their country and their democracy against Putin’s brutal war," Biden said at the signing ceremony.
Background: The Lend-Lease Act of 1941 was originally proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help arm British forces battling Germany.