On Monday afternoon, U.S President Biden announced the signing of the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 into law. Saying: “This bill provides another important tool in our efforts to support Ukraine and its people in their fight to defend their country and democracy against Putin’s brutal war”. He signed the law on the same day that Russia celebrated Victory Day, the 77th anniversary of the allied defeat of Nazi Germany, a feat facilitated in part by the original Lend-Lease Act. At the time of the original act, a total of $50.1 billion, equivalent to $690 billion in 2020, worth of supplies were shipped. In all, $31.4 billion went to the United Kingdom, $3.2 billion to France, $1.6 billion to China, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, and the remaining $2.6 billion to other allies fighting Axis powers.
The act authorizes the administration, through fiscal year 2023, to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Exempting some normal restrictions reported the Department of Defense. The Lend-Lease Act would exempt the administration from certain provisions of law that govern the loan or lease of military equipment to foreign countries, such as the five-year limit on the duration of the loan or the requirement that receiving countries pay all costs incurred by the United States in leasing the defense equipment. Any loan or lease of military equipment to Ukraine would still be subject to all applicable laws concerning the return of such equipment. Under current law, payments received under leasing agreements with foreign countries are deposited in the Treasury Department as miscellaneous receipts and are classified as direct spending. This act could increase amounts deposited in the treasury if the administration lends or leases equipment that it otherwise would not have provided under current law. Conversely, those deposits would decrease if the administration lends or leases equipment at a reduced cost under the act relative to amounts it otherwise would have charged under its existing authorities.
The lending program came as congressional Democrats moved quickly to consider the new $33 billion aid package to Ukraine proposed by Biden and indicated they would increase it substantially. With Republicans pushing to add more military spending, Democrats insisted on an equal boost for humanitarian aid, nudging the price tag to $39.8 billion, according to two anonymous people familiar with the proposal who previewed it reported the New York Times.