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Shaheen, Cornyn Lead Bill to Quickly Replenish U.S. Defense Stockpiles After Providing Aid to Allies like Ukraine

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) led the introduction of the Securing American Acquisitions, Readiness, and Military Stockpiles Act, which would give the Department of Defense (DoD) enhanced procurement authorities to quickly refill American defense stockpiles after the President provides aid to an ally or partner attacked by a foreign adversary, including replenishing America’s stockpiles after lethal aid was sent to Ukraine for defense against Russia.

This legislation follows a previous bill by Senators Shaheen and Cornyn, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, to establish a military lend-lease program to enhance security assistance to Ukraine. That bill was signed into law by President Biden on May 9, 2022.  

“As the United States continues to lead the global military aid response to Ukraine amid Putin’s unprovoked war, it has become increasingly critical that we simultaneously ensure the sustainment of our defensive weapons stockpile while also providing the materials our allies and partners need to defend themselves,” said Shaheen. “This bipartisan legislation would enhance our ability to both maintain our own defenses while also helping our friends. I’m glad to partner with Sen. Cornyn on this legislation, which specifically addresses the current security challenges facing the United States and our allies.” 

“When providing aid to allies under attack, we must ensure we can quickly replenish our own stockpiles in the process,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would authorize faster procurement of weapons and combat articles so helping our allies and partners doesn’t diminish our ability to protect ourselves.”   

The Securing American Acquisitions, Readiness, and Military Stockpiles Act would amend the DoD’s emergency acquisition authorities to allow them to use non-competitive procedures to quickly award a contract in order to replenish defense article stocks sent to an ally or partner after an attack by a foreign adversary of the U.S.  

While the DoD can use expedited procedures to speed up defense procurement in certain situations, backfilling depleted stockpiles is not one of them. This legislation lays out an exemption to permit the DoD to expedite the acquisitions process and decrease the time it takes to send aid in case of such an attack, subject to the following conditions:  

This authority can only be used when the U.S. is not a party to hostilities;  

  • The defense articles procured via this authority must be like the articles that spent from U.S. stocks; 
  • This authority may also be used for contracting for the movement or delivery of defense articles transferred from the U.S. to an ally or partner; and 
  • DoD must report to Congress within one week after deciding to use the authority. 

The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Angus King (I-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rick Scott (R-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). 

Also a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, Senator Shaheen has led action in the Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Putin’s belligerence. Last month, Shaheen released a statement ahead of the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and the six-month mark of Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine. In July, Senator Shaheen and Senator Romney introduced legislation that would require an interagency strategy toward the Black Sea region, which includes Ukraine. In March, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Shaheen that would ensure the U.S. undertakes coordinated efforts to collect and maintain evidence of war crimes and atrocities committed by Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. In February, Shaheen led a successful bipartisan effort with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of Ukraine. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration. Before the Shaheen-Portman congressional delegation visit to Ukraine in January, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June.