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Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chair, as one of the cosponsors, I rise in strong support of Amendment #108. This amendment would strike Section 3503 of the legislation, which allows the Maritime Administration to exempt itself from the Federal Acquisition Regulations, the Competition in Contracting Act and Federal Property Management laws, and thus dispose of obsolete vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet using less than full and open competition and a transparent process.
This amendment should be adopted because it will help ensure competition in contracting for ship disposal by the Maritime Administration. If this amendment is not adopted, MARAD will be permitted to enter into contracts to dispose of their ships without competition or transparency. This puts American jobs and industry at risk.
MARAD has expressed an interest in sending decommissioned ships to China to be scrapped. China wants this steel because it is stronger and better than what they produce. This will result in us buying inferior steel from China and China buying our steel at depressed rates because of no competition. Our firms have to be able to compete on an equal playing field and our own government should be encouraging it. We should be encouraging the recycling of superior American made steel to be used here.
Instead, Section 3503 stacks the deck against competition and against domestic firms. Why should we give China superior products in a sweetheart deal? If they want better steel they can pay fair market price or make it themselves.
President Obama in his memorandum for the Heads of the Executive Departments and Agencies from March 2009, on Government Contracting, said that, ``the Federal Government has an overriding obligation to American taxpayers. It should perform its function efficiently and effectively while ensuring that its actions result in the best value for taxpayers ..... Excessive reliance by agencies on sole source contracts ..... creates a risk that taxpayer funds will be spent on contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse or otherwise not well designed to serve the needs of the Federal Government of the interest of the American taxpayer.''
The President was right and this amendment holds MARAD to this standard.
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