Ukraine Aid Bill Hitchhiked to Seoul for Biden’s Signature

SEOUL – The US $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, which is trying to stave off Russia’s aggression, is being hitchhiked on a commercial flight to South Korea for President Joe Biden to sign off on.

The Senate on Thursday voted to complete new military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as Biden headed to the South Korean capital Seoul. Biden is in Asia to meet with leaders of South Korea, Japan and members of the Indo-Pacific group known as the Quad.

A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the bill would be flown to South Korea by a US government official who was already planning to fly to the country on a commercial flight Region to travel the official duties of the individual. It wasn’t clear when the law would arrive, but the president was due to sign it before traveling to Tokyo on Sunday.


For decades, bills that needed urgent signatures were routinely flown by White House aides to the president when he was abroad.

In 2005, President George W. Bush flew back to Washington from his Texas ranch to sign legislation requiring doctors to continue feeding a comatose Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, whose husband wanted her to die.

An autopen was first used to sign a law in 2011 when President Barack Obama signed an amendment to the Patriot Act into law while traveling in Europe.

He used the machine—then widely used for everyday commercial and government purposes—because Congress was taking an unexpectedly long time to approve the renewal of that law. His anti-terrorist powers expired just minutes at midnight EST when Obama was woken up in France to sign off on the measure.

Ukraine’s law provides for $20 billion in military aid to fund the transfer of advanced weapon systems, $8 billion in general economic support to Ukraine and nearly $5 billion in global food aid to address potential food shortages fix triggered by the collapse of Ukraine’s agricultural economy and more than $1 billion in combined assistance to refugees.



Fram reported from Washington

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Justin Scacco

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