WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators JD Vance (R-OH) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the Department of Defense to use consistent accounting methods that capture the true cost of sending weapons from U.S. stockpiles abroad. This amendment was supported by the majority of Senate Republicans, but failed by a vote of 39-60. It would have prevented future valuation errors such as the recent $6.2 billion accounting error regarding the value of U.S. security assistance provided to Ukraine.
Senator Vance issued the following remarks while offering the amendment:
Senator Vance: “If we ask ourselves when the President uses his drawdown authority to send weapons systems to Ukraine, how do we account for it? Do we account for it based on an old cost with depreciation, or do we account for it on its cost to the American taxpayer? I think it’s very clear that the cost to the American taxpayer is the one that we should use. And I also think this allows us to more adequately account for the resources we’re giving to Ukraine and other nations as well…
“The more important point here is a $6 billion accounting error is approximately the amount of aid that the United Kingdom has provided to Ukraine. If we’re not using an accounting method that allows us to properly account for this stuff, we are missing gaping numbers. We can’t possibly have a reasonable cost benefit debate if we don’t know the cost of the resources or the weapons we’re sending to Ukraine. We just need to be honest with ourselves and with the American people. That’s all this amendment does.”
- Last week, Senator Vance, along with Senator Hawley, introduced legislation to require the Department of Defense to use these specific accounting methods.
- Senator Vance joined Senators Hawley, Mike Lee, Roger Marshall, and Mike Braun, in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding an explanation from the Department of Defense for the reported $6.2 billion accounting error.
- The Pentagon’s $6.2 billion accounting error is approximately equivalent to the total of military aid offered to Ukraine by the United Kingdom.