The Biden Administration Discovers $6.2 Billion Accounting Error, Boosting Aid to Ukraine
The Biden administration has announced that it now has an additional $6.2 billion to allocate towards aid to Ukraine, thanks to an accounting mistake made by the Pentagon.
Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh revealed that the value of the military hardware sent to Ukraine was determined using replacement costs, rather than the book value of the equipment from Pentagon stocks, according to the Associated Press.
According to CNN, Singh stated, “We have confirmed that for FY23, the final calculation is $3.6 billion, and for FY22 it is $2.6 billion, for a combined total of $6.2 billion.”
Despite the valuation errors, Singh emphasized that the mistake did not limit or impact the provision of support to Ukraine through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), the mechanism used to transfer weaponry to foreign nations.
CNN reported that the extra $6.2 billion is expected to reduce the need for Congress to pass an additional assistance package before the end of the fiscal year in September.
“It’s just going to go back into the pot of money that we have allocated” for Ukraine, Singh explained.
Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the U.S. has already provided $34 billion in military aid, with a total spending package of $113 billion, which includes the cost of replacing weapons sent to Ukraine and aid to NATO allies supporting Ukraine.
The accounting error was initially noticed on March 31, according to the Defense Department.
During an interview with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, CNN’s Jake Tapper raised concerns about the accounting error, stating, “That’s a hell of an accounting error. And it provides a lot of fodder to critics of U.S. aid to Ukraine and critics who say there’s not enough oversight going on. Are you concerned about this accounting error?”
Sullivan clarified that the $3 billion accounting error did not mean that money had gone missing or been misallocated. He explained that it was simply a tally of the replacement cost for the equipment provided to Ukraine, and once adjusted, it revealed an additional $3 billion that could be used to provide more weapons to Ukraine.
While aid for Ukraine has been a divisive issue, not all Republicans oppose it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “Support for Ukraine is a direct investment in America’s own national security. U.S. assistance bolsters U.S. manufacturing, equips the U.S. military with new materials, and degrades Russia’s ability to threaten America,” according to Politico.
Overall, the accounting error has provided a significant boost to aid for Ukraine, ensuring that the country receives the necessary support in its ongoing conflict.
I heard the National Defense Authorization Act may have money for Ukraine in it.
The NDAA should only fund our military for our defense.
I want to be able to vote for a good NDAA, but I will not if it funds Ukraine.
We should be pushing a peace deal not funding a war.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) June 13, 2023
“I heard the National Defense Authorization Act may have money for Ukraine in it. The NDAA should only fund our military for our defense. I want to be able to vote for a good NDAA, but I will not if it funds Ukraine. We should be pushing a peace deal not funding a war,” tweeted Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Support for Ukraine is a direct investment in America’s own national security. U.S. assistance bolsters U.S. manufacturing, equips the U.S. military with new materials, and degrades Russia’s ability to threaten America.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) June 12, 2023
“America’s support for Ukraine has done much more than sustain their defense. As I’ve said repeatedly, sending lethal Western capabilities to the front lines has been a direct investment in America’s own security. … Let me be clear: this assistance means more jobs for American workers and newer weapons for American service members,” stated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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