Biden signs $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in Seoul

The Senate approved it after Biden left Washington.

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 relief package off-camera early Saturday, along with a bill to improve access to baby formula for families in need.

The legislation provides money for military and humanitarian aid, including funding to assist Ukraine’s military and national security forces, help restock stores of U.S. equipment shipped to Ukraine, and provide public health and medical support to Ukrainian refugees.

A spokesman for the National Security Council told CNN that the bill would be sent to South Korea with someone already traveling to the region on official business.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters traveling with the president on Thursday: “The president intends to sign the bill while he is away so he can sign it quickly. The modalities of that are being worked out in this time so you can get it and sign it. There will be no gap for that.

The bill includes an increase in funding for the presidential withdrawal authority from the $5 billion the Biden administration originally requested to $11 billion. Funding from the presidential withdrawal authority allows the administration to ship military equipment and weapons to Ukraine from US stockpiles.

The bill also provides $6 billion in funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, another way the Biden administration has been providing military assistance to Ukraine. The funding allows the administration to purchase weapons from contractors and then provide those weapons to Ukraine, and as a result is not drawn directly from US stockpiles.

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

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

The bill provides $3.9 billion for European Command operations, which includes “mission support, intelligence support, hardship pay for troops deployed to the region, and equipment, including a Patriot battery,” according to a House Democrat fact sheet. The Defense Department has added additional US troops in 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 bolster refugee assistance, including housing, trauma support and English language training 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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