A handful of senators formed a partisan alliance to endorse the Pentagon’s request to form a critical munitions acquisition fund within the budget as described in the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH introduced the PROCURE Act with Thom Tillis, R-NC, and among eight other senators headed up the effort, which aims to establish a revolving fund to procure important munitions.
The request would have the US Treasury Department allot as much as $500 million every year, for this purpose. Primarily, the fund could help serve a few immediate needs including—but not limited to—replenishing high-demand munitions that have already been distributed to Ukraine. Of course, the funds—which are self-sustaining from the US Foreign Military Sales program—could serve any future conflicts as well.
Sen. Shaheen has commented that as long as Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to continues his unprovoked aggression in Ukraine, and as long as China maintains its coercive measures against Taiwan, it is imperative that the US has the ability to support our democratic allies while simultaneously maintaining our military stockpiles at home.
She goes on to say, “As we have seen in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US has played an invaluable role in providing our Ukrainian friends with significant amounts of munitions to defend themselves—most of which have come from US stocks.”
Accordingly, the bill would grant permission to the Pentagon to procure crucial munitions before they transfer any weapons. In addition, the bill will keep a standing order on these munitions. Currently, the military back-files these orders. Fund authorization would be expected to expire in 2024.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senate Armed Services Committee member Roger Wicker, of Mississippi, have both co-sponsored the PROCURE Act. The four Senators have also united to endorse another bill, to the NDAA, which aims to expedite backfill of US stockpiles sent to Ukraine by permitting the DoD to utilize non-competitive contracts as a means to replace them.
At the end of the day, Sen. Shaheen concludes, “[The bill] would ensure the US is prepared to help our allies and partners in times of crisis without undermining our own military readiness.”