A group of nine bipartisan members of the House is urging President Biden to supply Ukraine with longer-range weapons and expedite the delivery of M1 Abrams tanks to the country.
In a letter led by Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), the lawmakers called on Biden to send Kyiv Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMs), which have a range of 190 miles. The lawmakers said they were “encouraged” by Britain’s decision to supply Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles that can hit targets up to 155 miles away.
“We urge you to transfer ATACMS to Ukraine from existing US stocks or approve transfers from our allies,” the letter reads. “These surface-to-surface missiles provide a long-range capability that will significantly improve Ukraine’s ability to target Russian troops and equipment in Ukrainian sovereign territory.”
In March, the Pentagon announced it was speeding up its delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by refurbishing older models instead of manufacturing new ones. Under the new plan, Ukraine is expected to receive the US-made tanks toward the end of the year, but that’s not fast enough for Crow and the other representatives who signed the letter.
They called on Biden to speed up the delivery even more by using whatever authority is necessary. “We strongly urge you to do everything in your power to accelerate this timeline, whether that be through the Defense Production Act, expended contracts, or pulling from different stocks to provide Ukrainian troops the tactical equipment needed to mount their counteroffensive,” the letter says.
The lawmakers also called for the US to ship more air defenses to Ukraine and applauded Biden’s approval of F-16 deliveries. The letter noted the “overwhelming bipartisan support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia” as the majority of Congress still favors pouring more weapons into Ukraine despite the risk of escalation and provoking a direct war between NATO and Russia.
The other signatories to the letter are Reps. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Jared Golden (D-ME), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Donald G. Davis (D-NC), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and James R. Baird (R-IN).