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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - August 04, 2007)


Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would strike section 8020 of this legislation which would have the same anticompetitive effect as language already included in almost every other one of the Democrat majority's appropriations bill by preventing funds from being spent to conduct public-private competitions.

In this case, it would prevent funds from being used to allow the private sector to compete against the government for commercial jobs by limiting the Defense Department's ability to spend money on this taxpayer friendly activity by putting arbitrary time constraints on the length of time that these studies can take place.

While this policy may be good for increasing dues to the public sector union bosses, it is unquestionably bad for taxpayers and for Federal agencies because agencies are left with less money to spend on their core missions when Congress uses this opportunity to take competition away from them.

In 2006, Federal agencies competed only 1.7 percent of their commercial workforce which makes up less than one-half of 1 percent of the entire civilian workforce. This very small use of competition for services is expected to generate a savings of $1.3 billion over the next 10 years by closing performance gaps and improving efficiencies.

Competitions completed since 2003 are expected to produce almost $7 billion in saving to taxpayers over the next 10 years. This means that taxpayers will receive a return of almost $31 for every dollar spent on competition with annualized expected savings of more than $1 billion.

This provision is obviously intended to stall public-private competitions for an entire fiscal year rather than allowing a proven process to work as it was intended, and it would harm taxpayers by denying the Department of Defense the ability to focus its scarce resources and funds and expertise on its core mission.

This concerted effort to prevent competitive sourcing from taking place at the Department of Defense demonstrates that the Democrat leadership is hearing clearly from labor bosses that the Defense Appropriations bill represents simply another good opportunity to increase their power at the expense of taxpayers and good government.

In this time of stretched budgets and bloated Federal spending, Congress should be looking to use all of the tools it can to find taxpayer savings and to reduce the cost of services that are already being provided by thousands of hardworking companies nationwide.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this commonsense, taxpayer-first amendment to oppose the underlying provision to benefit public sector union bosses by keeping cost-saving competition available to the government.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.


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