Scott, Senate Colleagues Introduce Bill to Reauthorize Ukraine Lend-Lease Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined his Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to reauthorize the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which allows the President to enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine to provide additional categories of military equipment to protect civilians.

As part of the Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act authorities, the President can currently lend and lease defense articles to U.S. partners and allies when it is in the United States’ national security interest. However, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act overhauls the bureaucratic barriers and other limitations which make these authorities impractical for the current crisis facing Ukraine.

“We are at an inflection point following Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel. We must send our adversaries a message that the United States won’t stand for unchecked aggression,” said Senator Scott. “Reauthorizing the lend-lease authority provides a way to support Ukraine’s ability to defend its people against Russia in a manner that won’t overburden American taxpayers.”

“Ukraine’s arsenal is shrinking by the day, and it needs additional assistance from the U.S. and our NATO allies to succeed against Putin,”said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would ensure the U.S. is prepared to answer the call in a fiscally responsible way, and I urge my colleagues to pass it as soon as possible to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty.” 

“We are at a critical juncture in the war in Ukraine, and our allies and adversaries are watching what the United States does next—whether we will stand for freedom and democracy or let Putin win his unprovoked war of aggression,” said Senator Shaheen. “As the world bears witness to the most serious security threat to Europe and our global stability since World War II, this legislation would reauthorize a tool for the U.S. government to lend or lease military equipment for Ukraine. I urge my colleagues to move this bipartisan bill quickly so we can continue to give the administration additional flexibility to get much-needed aid and resources to our partners in Ukraine who are fighting on the frontlines for freedom.”

“Putin’s brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine over two years ago was an assault on peace and the rule of law, not just in Eastern Europe but across the world,” said Senator Coons. “Without our strong, sustained partnership, Ukraine will struggle to keep Russian forces at bay. The U.S. cannot risk wavering in our defense of democracy, which is why we must reauthorize the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. This critical legislation will keep much-needed weapons and equipment in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers so they can continue to defend themselves against Putin’s forces.”

The legislation was also led by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.). 


The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2024:

·        Reauthorizes the enhanced lend-lease authority through Fiscal Year 2026;

·        Removes the five-year cap on loaning or leasing defense articles to allies; and

·        Enables streamlined transfer of defense articles to those countries impacted by Russian aggression by waiving the need for a Presidential declaration of emergency otherwise normally required.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act was originally signed into law on May 9, 2022, and expired on September 30, 2023.