White House Cites Multiyear Munitions Buys in Veto Threat of House Appropriations Bill

Exhaust flames shoot out alongside a missile being launched from a ship

The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) launches a Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) during a live-fire test of the ship’s AEGIS Weapon System. Over the course of three days, the crew of John Paul Jones successfully engaged six targets, firing a total of five missiles that included four SM-6 models and one Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) model. (U.S. Navy photo/Released) – U.S. Navy

President Joe Biden said he would veto a proposed House defense spending bill if it were to be put on his desk in its current form. The House defense appropriations bill contains several policy provisions opposed by the White House, including restrictions on reproductive healthcare for servicemembers.

The administration also takes issues with the House Appropriation Committee’s potential restriction on using multiyear procurement authority for buying munitions, including those needed to replenish stocks donated to Ukraine.

The FY24 budget request sought multiyear procurement authority for the Standard Missile-6, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), and for the latest version of the Patriot air defense missile. However, the House bill lacks multiyear procurement authority for the SM-6 and AMRAAM. The legislation also lacks support for $1.9 billion in Economic Order Quantity funding requested by the administration for munitions.

“[Multiyear procurement authorities] are the cornerstone of the Department’s Critical Munitions Strategy and are necessary to meet operational needs of the warfighter,” reads a statement of administration policy released on September 11. ” MYPs allow for greater stability in the munitions industrial base and workforce, reducing lead times and costs while increasing the number of munitions in the Department’s inventory. Further, without EOQ, the Department cannot execute MYPs to generate projected cost savings and ensure the availability of high quantities of munitions necessary to support the readiness requirements of the United States and its allies and partners.”

The White House also opposes a $275 million funding reduction for microelectronics programs, as well as prohibitions within the House bill regarding the decommissioning of several naval vessels.

The legislation must still be reconciled with the Senate’s version of the defense appropriations bill before heading to the president’s desk.

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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