Ammunition Amendment Passes House
The House passed two appropriations bills this week -- one for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and one for Homeland Security. I proposed an amendment to the Homeland Security bill that was adopted by the House in a bipartisan vote of 234-192. My amendment prohibits the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from using taxpayer dollars to enter into new ammunition contracts until it submits a report to Congress justifying the necessity and cost.
Many of you have voiced concerns to me about DHS's vast purchases of ammunition. Earlier this year, we learned that DHS solicited bids for more than ten times the amount of ammunition it purchased in fiscal year 2012. Given current inventory, DHS has nearly 4,000 rounds for each employee trained and certified in firearms use. Prior to committing taxpayer dollars for ammunition contracts, we must ensure accountability from DHS to both Congress and the American people.
IRS Investigation Continues
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee continues to investigate the IRS. On Thursday, we held a hearing on the agency's lavish spending on employee conferences. I questioned IRS division head Faris Fink about discrepancies in reports of these conference costs, at least one of which exceeded $4 million dollars. While hardworking families continue to struggle in this economy, the IRS spending millions of taxpayer dollars on its own employees is unconscionable.
A number of Cincinnati IRS employees recently interviewed by the Committee testified that their directions on targeting came directly from Washington. This is yet another example of the inconsistencies we're seeing in testimony from IRS leaders. We will continue pushing for answers to end this culture of cover-ups.
Congressional-Executive Commission on China
I am honored that Speaker Boehner has appointed me to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. This bipartisan delegation of nine Congressmen, nine Senators, and five senior administration officials monitors human rights abuses and the development of the rule of law in China and submits a report to the President and Congress every year. I pray our efforts will make a difference for those suffering human rights abuses in China.