The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday would provide $758 million to assist the defense industry during the pandemic; a figure far below what defense firms were promised from March’s stimulus bill passed by Congress.

Pentagon officials say the defense industry aid provided by this year’s $694.6 billion bill should have been “lower double-digit billions,” citing the figure allocated under the coronavirus stimulus bill passed in March, Defense News reports.

“While helpful and our industry appreciates the recognition of the need in the HAC mark and all the support we have received from the Pentagon and Congress to date, this level is insufficient to provide the support indicated previously by [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] and also by company leaders,” said National Defense Industrial Association Vice Chairman Arnold Punaro.

Under Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, defense contractors could seek to recover money from pandemic-related disruptions. Congress has not yet appropriated funding for this purpose.

A letter was recently sent to Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord from five of the top seven defense companies in the world urging additional stimulus money for COVID-related costs in the Senate’s next rescue package, reported Breaking Defense.

Photo by Ted Shaffrey/AP