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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, the House has voted repeatedly to strike problematic and anticompetitive A-76 language from the bill we have considered. The same change and reversal of bad policy should be adopted in this legislation by striking section 8039.

My amendment does just that. As drafted, section 8039 prohibits the Department of Defense from contracting out any function unless it will save a minimum of $10 million or 10 percent of the Department's performance costs--even if the contractor is less costly overall and can perform the work more efficiently.

Independent studies have found that public-private competitions lower costs by between 10 and 40 percent, regardless of whether the competition is won by a private contractor or the government. Rather than stand in the way of public-private competitions, Congress should cut the red tape and make the use of this cost-saving process easier, not harder.

The requirements in section 8039 are largely codified in existing statute. Retaining section 8039 will obstruct, and potentially nullify, any current efforts to reform the system in ways that improve public-private competitions and bring much-needed transparency, consistency, and reliability to the process.

Instead of complicating the use of competitions that improve service and lower costs, we should be encouraging agencies to find the most efficient way to deliver services. This amendment will send that message by reducing restrictions on the Department of Defense and making it easier to achieve reforms that will increase the availability of cost-saving competitions throughout the Department.

I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense, taxpayer-first amendment to H.R. 5856.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


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