President Joe Biden asked Congress for an additional $33 billion to help arm Ukraine as the US seeks to halt Russia’s advance, The New York Times reports.
Biden called on Congress to approve billions in additional aid to provide Ukraine with antitank weapons, equipment, and economic and humanitarian aid.
“The cost of this fight is not cheap,” Biden said Thursday. “But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen. We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.”
Biden also sent Congress a proposal to increase the government’s authority to seize luxury yachts and bank accounts from Russian oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin and use the proceeds to help arm Ukraine.
House approves lend-lease:
The House on Thursday passed a bill to allow Biden to use a World War II-era law to loan arms to Ukraine.
The House passed the authorization in a 417-10 vote to allow Biden to use the 80-year-old law created to combat Hitler’s rise in Europe.
“Passage of that act enabled Great Britain and Winston Churchill to keep fighting and to survive the fascist Nazi bombardment until the United States could enter the war,” said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin. “President Zelensky has said that Ukraine needs weapons to sustain themselves, and President Biden has answered that call.”
Zelensky touts aid:
“President Biden rightly said today that this step is not cheap,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “But the negative consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and against democracy are so large-scale for the whole world that, in comparison with them, this support from the United States is necessary. Together, we can certainly stop Russian aggression and reliably defend freedom in Europe.”