Biden signs $40 billion Ukraine aid package in Seoul


Seoul
CNN

President Joe Biden signed the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on Saturday, a White House official said, after the bill was sent to Seoul.

The Senate passed it after Biden left Washington.

The confirmation that Biden had signed the bill came as the president attended a state dinner with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. Biden signed the off-camera aid package earlier Saturday, along with a bill to improve access to formula for families in need.

The legislation provides funds for military and humanitarian assistance, including funds to assist Ukraine’s military and national security forces, help replenish stocks of U.S. equipment sent to Ukraine, and provide public health and support medical assistance to Ukrainian refugees.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council told CNN that Bill was being flown to South Korea with someone who was already traveling to the region on official duties.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters traveling with the president on Thursday, “The president intends to sign the bill while he is on the road so he can sign it quickly. The terms of that are being worked out right now so he can get it and sign it. There will be no gap for this reason.

The bill includes an increase in funding for the presidential levy authority from the $5 billion originally requested by the Biden administration to $11 billion. Funding from the Presidential Withdrawal Authority allows the administration to send military equipment and weapons to Ukraine from U.S. stockpiles.

The bill also provides $6 billion in funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, another way the Biden administration has provided military assistance to Ukraine. The funding allows the administration to purchase weapons from contractors and then supply those weapons to Ukraine, and therefore does not draw directly from US stockpiles.

According to a House Democrats fact sheet, the money will help Ukraine’s military and national security forces and will go towards weapons, equipment, training, logistics and intelligence support, as well as to other needs.

There will also be about $9 billion to help restock US equipment that has been sent to Ukraine, as many lawmakers have raised concerns about replacing stockpiles of weapons the US is giving to Ukraine. Ukraine, especially stingers and javelin missiles.

The bill provides $3.9 billion for European Command operations, which includes “mission support, intelligence support, hardship allowance for troops deployed to the region, and equipment, including including a Patriot battery,” according to a House Democrats fact sheet. The Department of Defense has added additional US troops to Eastern European countries to bolster support for NATO allies near Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

To address humanitarian needs, the bill will include $900 million to boost refugee assistance, including housing, trauma support and English education for Ukrainians fleeing the country.

The measure provides an additional $54 million for public health and medical support for Ukrainian refugees.

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