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Letter from Paoletta to Armstrong re: Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine (Kelly Smith, comp.) 1 (12/11/19)

handle is hein.presidents/usgvtwht0242 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                        EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
                            OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
                                    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503






                                    December 11, 2019

Mr. Tom Armstrong
General Counsel
Government Accountability Office
Washington, D.C. 20548

RE: B-331564, Office of Management and Budget- Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance

Dear Mr. Armstrong:

       This responds to your letter of November 25, 2019, seeking the Office of Management
and Budget's (OMB) views on its apportionment of funds for security assistance for Ukraine
during the fourth quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2019.

Background

       For FY 2019, Congress appropriated $250 million to the Department of Defense (DOD)
for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).1 On June 19, 2019, OMB learned that the
President had asked about DOD's plans for USAI. At that time, OMB began discussions with
DOD regarding DOD's plans for obligating the USAI funds. In response to the Administration's
directive that USAI funds not be obligated for Ukraine pending a policy decision, on July 25,
2019, OMB, following discussions with DOD, including DOD's Office of General Counsel,
placed a footnote on the apportionment for the account that includes the USAI funds (Operation
& Maintenance, Defense-wide, Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol (TAFS) 97-0100/2019)
that stated:

       Amounts apportioned, but not yet obligated as of the date of this reapportionment,
       for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (Initiative) are not available for

1 That appropriation provided, in relevant part:

       For the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, $250,000,000 is hereby appropriated, to remain
       available until September 30, 2019: Provided, That such funds shall be available to the Secretary
       of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training;
       equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; sustainment; and intelligence
       support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine, and for replacement of any
       weapons or articles provided to the Government of Ukraine from the inventory of the United
       States: Provided further, That of the amounts made available in this section, $50,000,000 shall be
       available only for lethal assistance described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1250(b) of the
       National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Public Law 114- 92; 129 Stat. 1068)....

Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, Pub. L. No. 115-245, div. A, § 9013, 123 Stat. 2981, 3044-45 (2018).

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