Ukrainian servicemen fire an artillery during an anti drone drill in Chernigiv region on Nov. 11, 2023.

Ukrainian servicemen fire an artillery during an anti drone drill in Chernigiv region on Nov. 11, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky, AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The Pentagon said it will run out of money to replace weapons sent to Ukraine by Dec. 30 unless Congress approves new funding, for the first time giving a precise date for when it will have exhausted its cash.

The Defense Department is spending its last $1.07 billion to buy new weapons and equipment that will replace those drawn down from stockpiles and sent to Ukraine, Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said in a Dec. 15 letter obtained by Bloomberg News. Fifteen days later — on Dec. 30 — its accounts will be empty.

“Once these funds are obligated, the department will have exhausted the funding available to us for security assistance to Ukraine,” McCord wrote in the letter to leaders of the House and Senate defense policy and appropriations committees.

The letter will add to pressure on Congress to break a deadlock over the more than $60 billion that President Joe Biden has requested to help Ukraine repel Russian forces. Republican lawmakers say the package must include steps to tighten security at the U.S. border with Mexico or they won’t approve it. Biden administration representatives have been seeking to negotiate a compromise package of supplemental spending with senators.

“In order to protect U.S. military readiness, absent congressional action to approve the supplemental, the department anticipates only one additional drawdown package will be possible,” McCord said.

On Dec. 12, the Biden administration announced it was sending Ukraine a $200 million package from U.S. supplies that includes artillery rounds, small-arms ammunition and other weaponry.

Once that goes through, the Pentagon will be able to send one more package of aid to Ukraine, McCord said.

Although the letter presses members of Congress to reach a deal on Ukraine funding, it also means House Republicans who broke for Christmas break without acting on the funding have some time to hammer one out when they come back after Jan. 1.

A four-page formal reprogramming request sent with the letters provides some details on the equipment the Pentagon intends to replenish, from high-profile weapons to mundane supplies:

• $635 million in the Army’s missile procurement account for spending described as classified.

• $210 million to purchase replacement M795 High-Explosive 155mm projectiles, propellants, fuses and primers.

• $129 million in classified Navy funding to replace weapons sent from its “Other Missiles” budget category.

• $17 million to replace specialized “acoustic sensors” provided for Ukraine vehicles by the U.S. Special Operations Command.

• $4.3 million in Air Force operations and maintenance funding to replace tactical vehicles, metal fences and barriers sent to Ukraine.

• $737,000 to buy replacement camouflage parkas for the Air Force.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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