Provision to prevent contracting dollars from going to enemies of U.S. moves forward in Defense Authorization bill
U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Scott Brown (R-MA) announced today that key components of their "No Contracting with the Enemy" bill have been included in the National Defense Authorization Act that was approved Thursday night by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senators Ayotte and Brown worked to include the provisions in the legislative package, which now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Senators Ayotte and Brown introduced the "No Contracting With the Enemy Act" in February, aiming to make it easier for U.S. contracting officials to void contracts with contractors who funnel taxpayer resources to enemies of the United States, such as the Taliban. At a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, General David Petraeus highlighted the urgency of legislation that would achieve the goals of the Brown-Ayotte bill, testifying that it was needed "the sooner the better."
Senator Ayotte, Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee, said. "Military leaders have made it clear that they need greater flexibility to stop contracts that result in taxpayer dollars falling into the hands of America's enemies. The commonsense bill I introduced with Senator Brown addresses an urgent need for contracting officials to prevent enemies of the United States from benefitting in any way from our taxpayer dollars. I was pleased to see provisions of the legislation included in the Defense Authorization Act, and Senator Brown and I will work to ensure that it's included in the final version on the Senate floor."
Senator Brown said: "I'm very glad that the National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions of the 'No Contracting with the Enemy Legislation' that Senator Ayotte and I authored. This bill addresses a very serious problem facing American soldiers in Afghanistan. We simply cannot allow American tax dollars to be used by the enemy to hurt our soldiers and their mission, and I'm hopeful this legislation will be signed into law soon."
The Senators announced earlier this week that the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, of which Ayotte serves as the top Republican, included provisions of the Brown-Ayotte legislation in its mark.
In Senator Brown's role as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he has held hearings with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan and other Inspectors General about the immediate need to cease the flow of American funds to the enemy.