This morning Taxpayers for Common Sense joined an ideologically diverse coalition calling on the House to accept certain amendments to the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2015. This bill, H.R. 4435, is under consideration by the full House of Representatives this week.
May 21, 2014
The undersigned organizations may not agree on many things, but we all agree on this: The United States must curb wasteful and ineffective spending at the Pentagon. Doing so will save billions of valuable tax dollars as well as help to make America safer with the hard decisions our national security requires.
As you prepare to consider H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, we hope you will keep in mind ways to eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending, implement smart reforms that enhance national security, reduce obsolete and antiquated weapons systems and policies, and increase oversight of precious tax dollars. There is a growing consensus—among members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, policy experts of various stripes, and even defense industry CEOs—that you can, and should, find areas for substantial savings in the Pentagon’s bloated budget.
We believe there are smart ways to achieve this savings, and urge you to vote in favor of a handful of amendments that have broad, bipartisan support. We urge you to use this opportunity to set a stronger, better, and more sustainable path for our national security. In a time of fiscal restraint, we cannot afford to put parochial political interests ahead of our national security.
We urge you to vote YES on the following sensible amendments:
Amendment 8. (filed as #277)—Polis (CO), Blumenauer (OR): Prohibits funds from being used for the Navy to carry out the refueling and complex overhaul of the USS George Washington and strikes $483 million in unrequested funding for that purpose.
Amendment 24. (filed as #221)—Blumenauer (OR): Requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to update, on an annual basis, their report on the projected costs of U.S. nuclear forces.
Amendment 37. (filed as #131)—Griffith (VA), Ellison (MN): Requires the Department of Defense to fulfill former Secretary Robert Gates' Efficiency Initiative relating to the number of general and flag officers by reducing approximately 33 positions through attrition by the end of 2015.
Amendment 87. (filed as #72)—Burgess (TX), Lee (CA): Requires a report ranking all military departments and Defense Agencies in order of how advanced they are in achieving auditable financial statements as required by law.
Amendment 120. (filed as #301)—Nolan (MN): Requires review of any construction project in Afghanistan in excess of $500,000 that cannot be physically inspected by U.S. personnel.
Amendment 138. (filed as #307)—Mulvaney (SC), Murphy (FL) : Codifies criteria developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2010 to clarify when military spending should be designated as contingency operations and properly be part of the Overseas Contingency Operation budget.
Amendment 139. (filed as #284)—Walberg (MI), Cohen (TN): Prohibits any new funds for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund until previously appropriated funds have been fully expended.
Amendment 147. (filed as #278)—Polis (CO), Nadler (NY): Urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct successful operationally realistic tests before purchasing additional ground-based missile defense interceptors.
As you vote on the defense authorization bill, we thank you for considering our broad consensus for finding sensible savings to make our nation more secure.