Washington - The Pentagon needs Congress to approve “around $10 billion” to cover defense contractors’ coronavirus-related expenses, a top defense official said Monday. Alan Shaffer, deputy defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, became the first Defense Department official to put a price tag on the relief effort: “If there is another supplemental or stimulus package for realistic economic adjustment, we could be looking at somewhere around $10 billion in additional program costs,” Shaffer said during a taped appearance on the Government Matters television show that aired Monday afternoon.
Also on Monday, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told Fox Business that the Trump administration is putting together a fourth coronavirus stimulus package. The CARES Act allows defense companies to recoup money they used to keep employees working amid the pandemic.
While Congress authorized these reimbursements, they did not appropriate the funding. Until now, Pentagon officials have been vague in saying how much money was needed to cover the costs. During a June 11 House Armed Services Committee hearing, Ellen Lord, the defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said the Defense Department would request in the “lower end” of “tens of billions of dollars.”(READ MORE)