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Senate border security bill offers potential massive payday to defense industrial complex

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

The Senate border security bill offers a massive payout of potentially close to $50 billion to the U.S. defense industry in replenishing weapons stocks sent to Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel as security assistance.

The legislation unveiled Sunday evening authorizes $19.85 billion to replenish U.S. military equipment provided to Ukraine, $1.9 billion invested toward restocking U.S. weapons and equipment for Ukraine and $3.3 billion in emergency workaround funding to keep the U.S. submarine base afloat, according to a summary. It also authorizes $2.44 billion to keep the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces in the Red Sea armed as U.S. Navy warships and aircraft continue to shoot and destroy Houthi weapons and equipment.

A total of $34.9 billion will go toward restoring U.S. military readiness by refilling weapons stockpiles and reinforcing the U.S. defense industrial base “through investments to improve and increase production capacity,” the summary states. (RELATED: Pentagon, State Department Officials Say Continuing Aid To Ukraine Will Deter China)

Not included in that number is $13.8 billion in foreign military financing to allow Ukraine to purchase weapons directly from the U.S. defense industrial base, increasing the potential payout to $48.7 billion.

That includes $26.15 billion in total replenishment for Pentagon weapons stocks provided to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in the future.

A sum of $542,400,000 will address so-called “unfunded requirements” that the Indo-Pacific Command submitted to Congress for items the Biden Administration declined to include in its initial budget request.

Another $5.4 billion “in additional procurement and production expansion for artillery, air defense munitions, countering unmanned aerial systems, and critical munition components,” including $133 million to enhance the industrial base cruise missile production capacity and bolster deterrence against China.

Congress authorized the president to arm Taiwan with up to $1.1 billion worth of military equipment pulled directly from U.S. stocks in 2023. But as of September, just before the end of the fiscal year, the administration had only utilized $345 million in PDA, which allows the president to pull weapons directly from U.S. stockpiles.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the U.S. has provided more than $44 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, according to the Ukraine Support Tracker. The Senate’s legislation roughly matches what the Biden Administration requested to fund Ukraine.

In January, Congress carved out a rare exception for the Navy to assume up to $2.2 billion in additional funding for the Columbia-class nuclear submarine program in an emergency funding extension. The new supplemental bill adds funds for the Virginia-class attack submarine as anxiety grows over workforce shortages, supply chain problems and uncertain funding streams that delay a cornerstone capability.

House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise have vowed that this Senate bill will not receive a vote in the House over perceived shortcomings in border security rules.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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