Politics

Cotton, Colleagues Introduce Bill Providing Funding for Critical Munitions to Protect America

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced a bill with Senators Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Rick Scott (R-Florida), and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) to restore America’s diminished stockpiles of critical munitions. The legislation will authorize investments in necessary munitions production, ensuring America is prepared to fight a major war while also building a workforce that can produce the weapons we need.

Investing in our munitions industrial base and developing a skilled workforce would better prepare the Department of Defense to make sure our defense industry can protect American citizens in case of war. Bill text is here.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown that the United States’ stockpile of munitions is dangerously low. We must reinvest not only in the munitions critical for the defense of America, but also in a workforce that can build these weapons to ensure our military’s readiness,” said Sen. Cotton.

“For far too long, we’ve underinvested in munitions. This legislation would immediately reverse this trend and improve readiness by increasing our munitions production capacity. It also includes my language to provide Congress with better reporting on our industrial base so we can further refine future investments. It’s our responsibility to ensure our nation has the ability to produce the things we need to defend ourselves, project strength, and better support our allies and partners,” said Sen. Fischer.

Background:

  • Current U.S. munitions supplies are produced over decades, limiting how much the military would have immediate access to in the event of a crisis.
  • The current munitions and missile supply would evaporate before wartime surges of money and attention could fill the gap.
  • As the current Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown, America needs to direct adequate funding to munitions production and a skilled workforce to protect both ourselves and our allies.

The bill would:

  • Authorize $3.8 billion in appropriations to procure additional munitions and necessary materials for munitions.
  • Authorize $479 million in appropriations to expand the capacity of vital munitions and launcher production lines (JAGM, SM-6, LRASM, JASSM, SM-3, HIMARS cabs).
  • Authorize $244 million in appropriations to procure and expand production capacity for the Coyote counter-UAS (C-UAS) system.
  • Authorize the Secretary of Defense to enter multi-year procurement contracts of up to 5 years for munitions if those munitions are critical to warfighting and deterrence.
  • Requires a brief on DoD’s fulfillment of reporting requirements (under Section 222c, 10 U.S.C.) on the level of munitions needed for potential conflicts and planned inventories.
  • Requires a report by DoD on the industrial base constraints for munitions needed for potential conflicts and on past efforts and potential efforts to mitigate those constraints.
  • Authorize the Secretary of Defense to enter into Support or Procurement Partnership Agreements with Ukraine and allies and partners who have provided military aid to Ukraine.

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