The White House says a bill authorizing about $40 billion in aid to Ukraine will ensure there is no funding shortfall when it comes to its military and humanitarian support for their fight. against a Russian invasion.
But while it’s not uncommon to fly a bill to the location of a president, it’s not entirely necessary either.
The Department of Justice issued an advisory in 2005, when George W. Bush was President, which stated: “The President need not personally perform the physical act of affixing his signature to a bill that he approves and decides to sign for the bill to become law. Rather, the President may sign a bill within the meaning of Article I, Section 7 by directing a subordinate to affix the President’s signature to such a bill, for example by autopen.
Barack Obama later became the first US president to sign legislation using the autopen – a device used for automatic signatures – while abroad in 2011. Obama authorized the use of the autopen for sign legislation extending the Patriot Act while in Europe.
Biden had already left for his first trip to Asia as president by the time the Senate passed the $40 billion aid package on Thursday. The bill was introduced to the White House by the House Registration Clerk later that day.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council told CNN the bill goes with someone who was already traveling to the area on official business. CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on Bill’s transfer to South Korea.
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.
He continued: “We authorized today the 10th Presidential draw – the remaining $100 million – on May 19, as we said. This money will be converted into capacities. These capacities will be available in the coming days. And then the next presidential draw will be launched shortly after it’s signed, so we’ll have the kind of continuity of support that we’ve asked for, and for that, we’re grateful for the bipartisan support that we’ve gotten from Congress, which is is mobilized and has done so in a timely manner.
Funding from the Presidential Withdrawal Authority allows the administration to send military equipment and weapons from U.S. stockpiles. 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.
Legislation approved by Congress provides funds for military and humanitarian assistance, including funds to assist Ukraine’s military and national security forces, help replenish stocks of US equipment sent to Ukraine, and provide medical public and medical support for Ukrainian refugees.
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump airlifted a massive $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill to Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort. , for his signature.