According to a draft committee report cited by Politico, Republicans on the US House Appropriations Committee are proposing cuts to the Pentagon’s submitted plan to increase missile production amid US efforts to arm Ukraine. The lawmakers are demanding to reduce by more than $2.5 billion the funds planned for missile procurement, which could significantly affect Joe Biden’s budget proposal.
The goal of increasing arms spending for Ukraine has led US military experts to rethink the possibility of purchasing munitions that might be needed in the event of a conflict with China. Faced with this situation, the Pentagon has asked Congress for funds to buy ammunition over several years to accelerate production in the event of a possible war triggered by tensions over Taiwan.
However, lawmakers express doubts about the feasibility of the Pentagon’s plans. As part of the proposed cuts of more than $2.5 billion in missiles, the committee has blocked much of the funding for missile programs, including a large portion of funds earmarked for bulk purchases.
According to the cited report, the Pentagon has not provided adequate data on the allocation of funds, and congressmen have concerns about the Pentagon’s clear understanding of unit costs and production capacity.
This development comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new $325 million military aid package to Ukraine on June 13. The supply will include air defense capabilities, additional ammunition, artillery shells, anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles, and other equipment to strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces.