DoD Used $300 Million in ‘Savings’ to Send Arms to Ukraine While Facing $10 Billion Deficit

by | Mar 25, 2024

DoD Used $300 Million in ‘Savings’ to Send Arms to Ukraine While Facing $10 Billion Deficit

by | Mar 25, 2024

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Over the past few months, the White House has employed multiple budgetary schemes to free up funds to send weapons to Ukraine. Last year, the Joe Biden administration sent $300 million in weapons to Ukraine using money that was authorized by Congress on Saturday. Earlier this month, the Department of Defense claimed to have cut costs on some contracts, freeing up more funding for Kiev. 

Earlier this month, the White House announced a $300 million arms package to Ukraine that included cluster bombs on March 12. At the end of last year, the White House announced that it had depleted its available funds to send weapons to Kiev, raising questions on the accounting tactics used to free up the money. 

According to the AP, the Department of Defense claimed to have saved $300 million by cutting costs on other procurement contacts. However, the Pentagon also reports a $10 billion deficit in funds needed to buy weapons to replenish the depleted US arms depots. Over the past two years, the White House drained US stockpiles down to redline levels to wage a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. 

“It’s unclear whether the Pentagon could have put that $300 million toward reducing the $10 billion replenishment deficit instead. There are congressional controls on how different funding lines can be used,” the AP reports. “But with Ukrainian troops running out of ammunition in their fight against Russia — and no sign that the funding impasse in Congress will end soon — the Biden administration opted to use the savings to help its struggling ally.”

This is not the first instance of the Biden administration resorting to questionable accounting to expedite funds to Ukraine without congressional approval. Last summer, the Pentagon claimed to have discovered a $6 billion accounting error in its pool of funds to support Kiev’s war effort. In November, the White House again used $300 million in funds for Ukraine that had not been approved by Congress until the Legislature passed the $1.2 trillion spending bill on Saturday

While White House officials are urging the House to act on the $95 billion foreign spending bill, a solution to the deadlock appears distant. Discussing the legislation, House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers said, “We’re in a bad place. I’m discussing options with some other members. We need to put something on the floor.”

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, stated he believes the Republicans do not have a plan for passing legislation with additional aid for Kiev. “They don’t have an alternative. They’re still trying to imagine that Door No. 3 exists. Door No. 1, give us a vote on the Senate bill. Door No. 2, give Putin Ukraine.” He continued, “They don’t want to do either one of those. So they’re trying to imagine that there’s a Door No. 3. We have to let them know there is not.”

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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