Senator MANCHIN. I want to thank Madam Chairman, and also thank Ranking Member Ayotte, for a thorough subcommittee mark of the defense bill.
This subcommittee is so very important. To keep the best military in the world, we have to spend smartly, as we all know, and make every dollar count.
And I would also like to thank all the personnel and the committee staff on both sides of the aisle for all the hard work that they have done that has gone into this markup.
Madam Chairman, I deeply appreciate your review of my five amendments before this subcommittee, and thank you and Senator Ayotte for accepting four of my provisions.
The first deals with the Pentagon's inability to pass an audit and calls attention to the serious nature of the accounting and oversight deficiencies.
I have also introduced a sequester inflexibility amendment that requires the Defense Department to detail the impacts to national security, if the military is not given flexibility and must make across-the-board cuts.
Another proposal urges the Defense Department to pursue the weapon system to eliminate redundant and wasteful systems.
Am I fourth would require the Defense Department Inspector General to be more accountable for the contractors used in Afghanistan.
My last amendment addresses the issue of inflated contractor salaries at a time when our Nation is facing such dire fiscal crisis. And that amendment brings contractor salaries in line with reasonable limits established by the Office of Management and Budget. If we do nothing this year, contractors can be paid as much as
$950,000 a year in taxpayer money, and that is up from $763,000
this past year, which is absurd.
So I understand that many of my colleagues would like to talk about that issue, so I will bring it up in the full committee.
And again, I want to thank you and Senator Ayotte for doing an outstanding job.