WATCH: House adopts military lend-lease program to accelerate aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would streamline a World War II-era military lend-lease program to deliver more quickly to Ukraine and other countries in Europe. of the East American equipment to fight against the Russian invasion.

Watch the vote in the player above.

The measure, which passed by an overwhelming vote of 417 to 10, now goes to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign into law.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks of New York, said with the unified support of the US Congress, “Ukraine is going to win.”

The bill is the latest from Congress, which regularly crafts resolutions and resources to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and help the country and its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fight back. The Biden administration announced Thursday that it would seek an additional $30 billion from Congress in military and humanitarian aid, on top of the nearly $14 billion approved by Congress last month to help Ukraine fight the war.

Months in the making, the bipartisan bill was first introduced in January as part of the United States’ deterrent posture to warn against Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.

LOOK: Biden asks Congress for $33 billion to help Ukraine fight Russia

The measure would update 1941 legislation that Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted to help the allies fight Nazi Germany. Back then, the then US President introduced the Lend-Lease Act in Congress, heeding British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s plea for help, even as America initially remained neutral in the war, according to the National Archives of the United States.

Biden is expected to sign the bill, giving the administration greater leeway to send military hardware to Ukraine and neighboring allies in Eastern Europe.

“It’s a real moment in history that we’re back on this floor of the House to support Lend-Lease,” said Rep. French Hill, R-Ark.

The congressman said he hoped ‘Churchill’s idea’ would end delays in sending aid to Ukraine, in the same way the original law sped up aid to Great Britain Britain fighting Adolf Hitler’s Germany in World War II.

“Today we find ourselves in a very similar situation with Putin systematically bombing and bombing peaceful villages and towns in Ukraine,” he said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi also hailed the moment, saying war is a battle between democracy and autocracy, and echoed Roosevelt’s call for Americans to provide the fuel needed to keep the light on. democracy.

“Our task today remains the same,” she said. “The Ukrainian people are fighting for all of us.”

Zelenskyy has repeatedly pleaded for more military equipment from the United States and its allies, in addition to Stinger and Javelin missile systems, deadly drones and other weapons that have already flowed into the region.

Ukraine’s military and its citizens are engaged in a brutal street-level fight to save their country, as Russia bombs towns and villages in Putin’s quest to take control of the nation and integrate it into Russia.

READ MORE: Ukraine warns of Russian offensive in east gaining momentum as UN warns of destruction

Lawmakers from both parties, Republicans and Democrats, have argued that the United States is not moving fast enough to help Ukrainians. Countless members of Congress have traveled to the region to see the devastation firsthand, meet their Ukrainian counterparts and do what they can to help resettle the flood of more than 5 million refugees.

The measure approved by the US Congress would update the 1941 law specifically for the Ukraine conflict, removing some repayment requirements and allowing military equipment to be loaned or rented for more than five years.

While the updated legislation had bipartisan support in the House and Senate, it stalled in Congress along with other Ukraine-focused bills. Democratic lawmakers tended to defer to their party’s president to take the lead on foreign policy, especially as Biden struggled to win support from allies abroad.

Then, quickly and without fanfare, the Senate quietly approved the bill of Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, earlier this month in a voice vote. without objection.

This week, the House moved it forward on the chamber’s agenda as soon as lawmakers returned from a spring break.

But tensions are high in Congress on countless issues, and the debate in the House has quickly devolved. Republicans initially focused on immigration issues on the US southern border with Mexico, leading Democrats to blame the House GOP for harboring pro-Donald Trump factions soft on Putin.

“We stand for democracy here, not Vladimir Putin,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., wearing a blue and yellow tie in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, said during a floor debate.

In a heated moment, Raskin slammed GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia for her earlier comments disparaging NATO and Western support for Ukraine. He wondered why she had joined the debate to talk about immigration to the southern border rather than the Russian invasion.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., who was handling the first part of the floor debate, insisted that the “vast majority of my colleagues” supported the Lend-Lease bill and would see it passed.

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