The U.S. defense industry has incurred costs of $20 billion or more coping with the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these costs are traceable to a government determination early in the crisis that defense production is an essential activity. As the only customer for military goods, the federal government is prepared to make “equitable adjustments” that reimburse industry for its pandemic-related costs. The problem is that while the authority to make such reimbursements already exists in law, there is no appropriation to fund the reimbursements. Congress needs to provide that appropriation in the next stimulus package, otherwise the money will probably come out of the military’s modernization and readiness accounts. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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