Senators Hawley and Vance Introduce Legislation to Prevent Further Accounting Errors at the DoD

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Today U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and JD Vance (R-Ohio) introduced legislation to require the Department of Defense (DoD) to use accounting methods that capture the true cost of sending weapons from U.S. stockpiles abroad. This legislation will help prevent further accounting issues at the Department, including the $6.2 billion “valuation error” of certain military equipment provided to Ukraine.

“The so-called ‘valuation errors’ around U.S. aid to Ukraine is a transparent attempt to bypass Congress for additional funds, while continuing to prioritize Ukraine over more vital U.S. interests, including deterring China in the Pacific,” said Senator Hawley. “We must force the DoD to appropriately account for any future aid, not only for Ukraine, but also for all U.S. security assistance going forward.”

“This legislation will save American taxpayers from footing the bill for shoddy accounting at the Pentagon,” said Senator Vance. “There should be no excuse for accounting errors with a seven-figure price tag. With this bill, Congress can ensure that the cost of our military aid is properly and consistently calculated.”

Earlier this week, Senator Hawley sent a letter with several colleagues to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding an explanation from the DoD for the reported $6.2 billion accounting error in U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.

In March, Senator Hawley introduced the Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance Act to establish a Special Inspector General to oversee the military and non-military assistance to Ukraine. He also called for a vote on his measure to demand more accountability in March, at which time 68 Senators voted against it.

The Senators’ legislation would:

  • Ensure the DoD’s valuation of defense articles and services sent abroad under the Presidential Drawdown Authority section in 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act accurately reflects what these transfers will cost American taxpayers.

Read the full bill text here.