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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (Senate - July 26, 2007)

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AMENDMENT NO. 2442 TO AMENDMENT NO. 2383

Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I thank the chairman and appreciate her consideration in giving me an opportunity to call up an amendment even though we are not going to debate it. We will put it in the pending file. I understand that. I thank her for her courtesy.

I ask that the pending amendment be set aside and that amendment No. 2442 be brought up.

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Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The amendment is as follows:
(Purpose: To prohibit funding for no-bid earmarks)

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

Sec. __. (a)(1)(A) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to make any payment in connection with a contract awarded through a congressional initiative unless the contract is awarded using competitive procedures in accordance with the requirements of section 303 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253), section 2304 of title 10, United States Code, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

(B) Except as provided in paragraph (3), none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to make any payment in connection with a contract awarded through a congressional initiative unless more than one bid is received for such contract.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be awarded by grant or cooperative agreement through a congressional initiative unless the process used to award such grant or cooperative agreement uses competitive procedures to select the grantee or award recipient. Except as provided in paragraph (3), no such grant may be awarded unless applications for such grant or cooperative agreement are received from two or more applicants that are not from the same organization and do not share any financial, fiduciary, or other organizational relationship.

(3)(A) If the Secretary of Homeland Security does not receive more than one bid for a contract under paragraph (1)(B) or does not receive more than one application from unaffiliated applicants for a grant or cooperative agreement under paragraph (2), the Secretary may waive such bid or application requirement if the Secretary determines that the contract, grant, or cooperative agreement is essential to the mission of the Department of Homeland Security.

(b)(1) Not later than December 31, 2008, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to Congress a report on congressional initiatives for which amounts were appropriated during fiscal year 2008.

(2) The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include with respect to each contract and grant awarded through a congressional initiative--

(A) the name of the recipient of the funds awarded through such contract or grant;

(B) the reason or reasons such recipient was selected for such contract or grant; and

(C) the number of entities that competed for such contract or grant.

(3) The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall be made publicly available through the Internet website of the Department of Homeland Security.

(c) In this section:

(1) The term ``congressional initiative'' means a provision of law or a directive contained within a committee report or joint statement of managers of an appropriations Act that specifies--

(A) the identity of a person or entity selected to carry out a project, including a defense system, for which funds are appropriated or otherwise made available by that provision of law or directive and that was not requested by the President in a budget submitted to Congress; and

(B) the amount of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available for such project.

(2) The term ``executive agency'' has the meaning given such term in section 4 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403).

Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, this is a fairly simple amendment. I plan on offering this on every appropriations bill. What it says to the American people is we know we are going to do certain things to send projects home. What this says is if you do that, then there ought to be a competitive bid on the project rather than a sweetheart deal to wherever it is going.

It is a very simple amendment. It says if we are going to send something home through an earmark, then the process of expending that money ought to be on a competitive bid basis so we get good value for the American taxpayer--no cost-plus, just competitively bid.

With that, I reserve my debate for a later time and yield the floor.


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