With lawmakers and the White House unable to come to an agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus package, it’s unlikely that money requested to reimburse defense contractors for pandemic-related expenses will reach these companies until at least the second quarter of 2021, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, laid out the reimbursement process. She said it would take the Pentagon five to six months to distribute those funds after they are approved by Congress.
“Then we want to look at all of the proposals at once,” Lord said at a recent Defense News Conference. “It isn’t going to be a first in, first out, and we have to rationalize using the rules we’ve put in place what would be reimbursable and what’s not.”
Lord estimated that the tab for defense contractors’ pandemic expenses from March 15 to Sept. 15 would come to “between $10 and $20 billion.”