Shaheen, Tillis Announce New Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Military Readiness to Respond to International Conflicts

September 26, 2022

Senator Shaheen has led action in the U.S. Senate on efforts to secure our defense industrial base and support the U.S. efforts to help Ukraine defend itself from Putin’s invasion, while addressing China’s increasing aggression in the Indo-Pacific.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced new legislation today that would ensure the U.S. has sufficient critical munition stocks to support allies and partners in a crisis without depleting U.S. military stocks. The Promoting Readiness for Overseas Contingencies and Unexpected Responses to Exigencies (PROCURE) Act would establish a Critical Munitions Acquisition Fund (CMAF) to allow the Secretary of Defense to better manage industry production lines and sustain particular munitions lines that are critical to U.S. national security interests. Additionally, the authorities granted in the CMAF would help the Department of Defense better anticipate industry’s supply chain needs and improve the Department’s purchasing power, driving down costs for the government. 

“As Putin continues his unprovoked war in Ukraine, and China increases its coercive measures towards Taiwan, ensuring that the U.S. can capably support our democratic allies while maintaining our own military stockpiles in a crisis is essential,” said Shaheen. “As we have seen in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has played an invaluable role in providing our Ukrainian friends with significant amounts of munitions to defend themselves – most of which has come from U.S. stocks. The PROCURE Act would ensure the U.S. is prepared to help our allies and partners in times of crisis without undermining our own military readiness. It would provide a more effective way to organize our allies’ procurement of the munitions required to defend against the threats they face.” 

“While Putin’s illegal invasion resulted in a swift and robust response from the United States and our NATO allies to arm the Ukrainian military, it exposed the fact that we have major inadequacies with our current munition stocks,” said Senator Tillis. “Our bipartisan PROCURE Act is essential to improving America’s capacity to quickly arm our allies in potential future conflicts without drawing from our own munitions stock, which will greatly enhance our national security and military readiness.” 

The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Wicker (R-MS), Senator R. Scott (R-FL), Senator Kaine (D-VA), Senator Fischer (R-NE), Senator Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator Klobuchar (D-MN).  The Senators also plan to file the bill as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act in the coming days. 

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. With Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Shaheen introduced the Securing American Acquisitions, Readiness, and Military Stockpiles Act, which would give the Department of Defense 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 followed 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.

Earlier this year, Shaheen and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) 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. 

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