The legislation allowing the Biden administration to engage in lend-lease deals for military equipment with Ukraine and other Eastern European countries authorizes the transfer of virtually any weapon except nukes, US Representative Thomas Massie said via Twitter.
“Congress just authorized Biden to transfer virtually any weapon of war, other than a nuclear weapon, to Ukraine. [Facepalm emoji] Insane!” Massie said on Thursday in an explanation of his ‘no’ vote.The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the legislation in a vote of 417-10, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The Senate unanimously passed the bill earlier in April.
Massie in the tweet pointed towards the definition of “defensive article” used in the legislation, which includes all weapons systems, munitions, aircrafts, vessels or other implements of war with the exception of nuclear arms.
The lend-lease deals harken back to the famous Second World War-era policy of US President Franklin Roosevelt, which supplied Allied nations including the Soviet Union with weaponry and other materials. The move was considered an effective end of US neutrality in the war and a step towards open support for the Allies.
The legislation comes amid a number of other efforts by Congress and the Biden administration to support Ukraine amid the ongoing special Russian military operation, including a new $33 billion request from Biden to Congress for military, economic and humanitarian support for Kiev.