Senator Wicker Votes Yes on National Security Supplemental

Armed Services Leader Offers Details of Victories for Americans’ Security in Bill

April 23, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee released the following statements:

On passage of the national security supplemental:

“Eighty years ago, few Americans knew the names of Pearl Harbor and Normandy. But because of our failure to take deterrence seriously, they soon would. Today the world is talking about Kyiv, Tel Aviv, and Taipei. How we act now is going to shape the 21st century in a way that keeps Americans safe. Our grandchildren will be able to tell their families that the United States showed resolve and refused to let war criminals get stronger. I am proud to have voted yes on this legislation,” Senator Wicker said.

Senator Wicker continued, “The national security work that Congress advanced today still has a long way to go. Our adversaries are spreading their influence globally while our military suffers from preparedness and recruitment crises. Learning the hard lessons of the early 1940s, we have a singular opportunity now to adequately invest in our military – putting our shipyards and munitions plants on a wartime footing so we can avoid such a fight from ever coming to pass. In the months ahead, I intend to lead an effort that would bolster our nation’s defenses. We must ensure for our country and the world that there is another American century of prosperity and security on the horizon.”

Read more about the industrial base efforts included in the supplemental bill here.

On passage of the submarine industrial base funding:

“For months, I have been urging the Biden administration to provide more nuclear submarine funding. Today’s result reaffirms what should have been obvious from the start: Our industrial base is not where it needs to be. This funding is a major win,” Senator Wicker said. “Nuclear submarines are some of our most effective weapons for deterring China. This bill should signal to our allies our commitment to their security, to the U.S. shipyards and manufacturers that investment is on the way, and to China that we will return to the full strength of our arsenal of democracy. We have submarines to build. Let’s get to work.”

Senator Wicker has championed and led the negotiations for the $3.3 billion in Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) funding included in the bill.

See below for some critical facts related to submarine production:

  • The submarine industrial base produces between only 1.2 and 1.4 Virginia-class submarines per year, while estimates suggest that the Navy requires a minimum rate of 2.33 to fulfill its needs as well as the demands of the AUKUS agreement. 
  • Senator Wicker recognized the risk in the Navy’s ability to recover submarine construction rates. As a result, he extensively advocated for increased submarine industrial base support last year, leading to the inclusion of funds for this purpose in the national security supplemental.
  • The president’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 defense budget cut full funding for one attack submarine. The requirement for two attack submarines per year has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support.
  • A recent study found that China is markedly increasing its own production of modern submarines to erode U.S. undersea dominance.
  • The Navy’s own 45-day shipbuilding review showed that Virginia-class submarine production is already significantly delayed, with Block IV variants 36 months behind and Block V variants 24 months behind.

Language in the national security supplemental would force the Biden administration to send Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine “as soon as practicable.” On the included ATACMS language:

“The delayed ATACMS delivery has cost unnecessary lives and prolonged the war. While this legislation could push pivotal momentum toward securing victory, it should not have required an act of Congress for President Biden to deliver the deep-strike missiles to Ukraine. It is past time for the commander-in-chief to end the ‘drip-drip-drip' policies toward our Ukrainian friends, and other allies such as Israel, that are fending off aggression,” Senator Wicker said.

The vast majority of the Ukraine supplemental funding is allocated to American troops and our industrial base, including:

  • $11 billion to U.S. troops providing Ukraine assistance, including pay, benefits, operations, and training costs.
  • $20 billion to replenish U.S. arsenals, funds which go to U.S. workers to produce munitions for U.S. military stockpiles.
  • $14 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds U.S. workers to produce weapons and materiel for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


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