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September 12, 2022

King Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Replenish America’s Defense Weaponry, Replace Arms Sent to Ukraine

The Securing American ARMS Act would give the DOD enhanced procurement authorities to refill America’s weapons stocks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to rapidly replenish stockpiles of weapons and defense technologies provided to Ukraine. The Securing American Acquisitions, Readiness, and Military Stockpiles Act (Securing American ARMS Act), would give the Department of Defense (DOD) enhanced procurement authorities to refill America’s stocks of artillery, anti-tank weapons, and other systems that are being used to support Ukraine in their fight against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. The bill is an important effort to ensure the United States can defend itself against all threats, while also aiding Ukraine’s defense against Vladimir Putin’s barbaric war.

“With an Arsenal of Democracy from the free world, Ukraine’s brave armed forces are repelling Russia’s unprovoked invasion and thwarting Putin’s delusions of a new Soviet Union. It’s imperative the United States has the necessary weapons stockpiles to continue supporting Ukraine, while also ensuring our country is fully equipped to address the global threat landscape we face,” said Senator King. “The bipartisan Securing American ARMS Act would give the Department of Defense the rapid procurement tools they need to both maintain our own defenses and aid allies like Ukraine. It’s a commonsense step to improve our national security, support the industrial base, and further stymie Putin’s empire-building ambitions. I’m glad the bill has already received broad, bipartisan support, and hope we can get it passed quickly.”

The Securing American ARMS 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 also cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), 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).

As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Armed Services Committee, and Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator King has forcefully condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian sovereignty and worked to inflict maximum economic pressure against Vladimir Putin’s deadly expansionist war. He recently voted to provide significant economic and military support to Ukraine, has advocated for new sanctions against Putin, and called for maximum intelligence sharing with Ukrainian officials. Earlier this year, King joined a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Poland and Germany where he met with NATO leaders, Ukrainian refugees, and U.S. servicemembers for a first-hand look at the humanitarian crisis and America’s efforts to support Ukrainians. 

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