Garrett Votes to Support the Defense Spending Report Card Act
Yesterday, Congressman Scott Garrett voiced his strong disappointment that the House failed to pass the Defense Spending Report Card Act, H.R. 6375, which would have required the Department of Defense (DoD) to report to Congress whether results were being achieved and objectives realized from billions of dollars in defense spending initiatives.
"Funds allocated to the Department of Defense are directly responsible for the safety of our soldiers who are risking their lives defending our freedom, and we have a duty to ensure that this spending is free of waste, fraud, and abuse," said Garrett. "It is past-time for us to have a clear tool to determine how well these funds are allocated and I am very disappointed that this bill was not passed by the House today."
Following a March hearing of the Budget Committee, on which Garrett sits, the Congressman wrote Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, decrying the poor condition of financial management at the Department of Defense. In his letter, Garrett pointed to decades of poor financial management at the department and various reports citing failures of the department to live up to even the most basic standard accounting practices. His letter asked specifically what measures were in place at DoD to check for waste, fraud, and abuse and what means are used to ensure that defense dollars are prioritized so that those in theater get the resources to get their job done and return home safely. Today's legislation would have addressed many of these concerns.
The bill would have required an annual report detailing (1) the total annual cost of spending initiatives in Defense appropriations bills, (2) the purpose of each defense spending initiative and (3) an analysis of the usefulness of each defense spending initiative in advancing the goals of the Department of Defense. The report would have provided legislators with a solid foundation for making future funding decisions and provide taxpayers with clear documentation of how their tax dollars are being spent.
"I have made clear my support for earmark reform to bring discipline to Federal spending and tax bills," said Garrett. "No where is it more necessary that we guard each taxpayer dollar like a hawk than at the Department of Defense where a dollar wasted could mean a dollar less for a soldier's safety."