GOP leadership released an aid bill Wednesday that would loan Ukraine billions and grant the president the ability to eventually waive any repayment on the debt.

The bill, if signed into law, will provide approximately $60 billion for Ukraine amid the country’s ongoing war against Russia, and is part of a wider legislative package to provide aid to the U.S.’ closest allies, including Israel and Indo-Pacific nations. Roughly $10 billion would be provided to Ukraine under the legislation, which Kyiv is obligated to pay back — but the president can forgive the entirety of the debt after a certain amount of time has elapsed, according to the bill’s text.

“At any time after November 15, 2024, the President may, subject to congressional review provided by section 508, cancel up to 50 percent of the total indebtedness incurred by Ukraine… with respect to economic assistance,” the bill reads. The president can then cancel any remaining indebtedness to the government of Ukraine under this section at any time after January 1, 2026.

Nearly $8 billion will be derived from the “Economic Support Fund,” while another $1.6 billion is listed under “Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia.”

“Upon completion of the congressional review… such cancellation shall be final and irrevocable,” the bill says. Congress can pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent the debt from being canceled, but the president has the authority to circumvent this by vetoing the resolution.

 

Some Republicans are split on the idea of providing a loan to Ukraine. Former President Donald Trump said alongside Speaker of the House Mike Johnson in Florida last week a loan might be a reasonable alternative to “handing out gifts of billions and billions of dollars,” underscoring the need to get European Union (EU) nations to also provide more aid. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnel rejected the premise in March because he felt Ukraine didn’t have enough time to wait on Congress to make alterations to the Senate’s existing proposal.

Other Republican lawmakers have also cast doubt on the loan premise because they doubted Kyiv would ever pay it back.

“I don’t know quite what to make of it,” Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley told Business Insider in March. “I mean, if they’ll actually pay it back, then okay, that would be one thing. But I assume they won’t, right? I mean, if they had the money, wouldn’t they be spending it?”

“It’s like you getting a loan on a car that’s blown up,” Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told Semafor in March. “No engine, no tires. How do you get paid back?”

Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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