Today, the House passed legislation designed to proactively control Pentagon cost overruns, which have amounted nearly $300 billion over the last decade. Over the past few months, the President and his administration have been calling for acquisition reform and increased oversight on the Pentagon's procedures regarding the purchase of major weapons systems. The Weapons Acquisition System Reform Through Enhancing Technical Knowledge and Oversight Act (more commonly referred to as the WASTE TKO Act), which passed by an overwhelming 428 to 0 margin, is on pace to be presented to the President by Memorial Day.
"I applaud Chairman Skelton, Ranking Member McHugh and Rep. Conaway for their leadership on the WASTE TKO act," said Rep. Andrews following the bill's passage. "This bill will help stop the Department of Defense from wasting taxpayer dollars through endless cost growth in weapons programs. The Waste TKO act will also ensure that we get the weapons capabilities we need to keep America safe at reasonable cost. Passage of this legislation is an essential step at a time when the federal budget, including defense spending, must be brought under control. I look forward to continuing our work on the Defense Acquisition Reform Panel and finding solutions for the other 80% of the Defense acquisition process that will continue saving precious taxpayer dollars."
The primary focus of the bill is to reform Defense spending by identifying cost-saving techniques at the earliest stages of development, which decreases overruns exponentially before spiraling out of control. Rep. Andrews has highlighted that by increasing competition among weapons developers Pentagon spending will be limited, funding only the most effective and cost efficient programs. Also, the congressman called for increasing accountability and oversight among the various Department of Defense programs by requiring that weapons developers participate in periodic reviews to assess the program's performance as compared to their cost estimates.
As Chairman of the House Defense Acquisition Reform Panel, Congressman Andrews will continue to work with Congressional leaders and Defense experts to see that the United States Government funds only the best possible programs to maintain our national security while limiting undue financial waste and burden on the American taxpayers.