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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARRETT. I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. GARRETT. I rise today in support of this amendment and one which I have also cosponsored with the gentleman.

This amendment, quite honestly, is common sense, in that it simply looks to add accountability in how the Pentagon spends our taxpayers' dollars. Now, the GAO released an independent audit that they performed in March that concluded that the cost of the Pentagon's largest programs has risen by $135 billion--that's over 9 percent--to $1.68 trillion by 2008. And as was pointed out, over half of that, or $70 billion of that, involves overruns. And what they say in their report appeared ``to be indicative of production problems and inefficiencies or flawed initial cost estimates.''

Since then, we have not had a complete audit by the Pentagon, and since then, overruns have only multiplied.

Just this past week, earlier in the week, I had the opportunity to serve in the Budget Committee, where we had the CBO come in. And we asked them point blank for some of the information that we would like to have with regard to these audits, that we would like the information from them so they could pinpoint some of the, as we always say on the floor, the waste, fraud, and abuse that goes on. But more specifically, where the inefficiencies are. And the answer we got from them was somewhat telling. They said they cannot supply this Congress with the information that we would like because they do not get the information themselves from the DOD. And that is the problem.

That is the problem. The Department of Defense is consistently overbudget in acquisition and equipment modernization. There are 92 major defense acquisition programs. Seventy-five percent of them are overbudget. Twenty percent of them are overbudget by more than 50 percent.

Mr. Chairman, this is something that needs to be addressed. This amendment will once again hold the Pentagon accountable, assuring that the taxpayer dollars are spent prudently, as intended. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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