Taxpayers for Common Sense sent the following letter to the House to urge the right votes on H.R. 2500, better known as the National Defense Authorization Act:
July 11, 2019
The floor debate on H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization bill, began yesterday and recorded votes will start today. At Taxpayers for Common Sense we read every one of the hundreds of proposed amendments. Not all the ones we supported were made in order by the Rules Committee, but of the ones that were, here are the amendments that we support and urge you to vote for:
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO):
* Rep. Omar’s amendment, #17 (introduced as #223) requiring an annual report on the cost of each overseas operation where the armed forces are engaged. The best way to control spending is to understand how much you’re spending.
* Reps. Khanna, Lee of California, DeFazio, Omar and Pressley’s amendment #49 (introduced as #370) to reduce the OCO account by $16.8 billion which would prevent an increase to the Pentagon topline from the FY19 level.
Coal to Kaiserslautern:
* Rep. Huffman’s amendment #42 (introduced as #447) to repeal a provision of the FY19 NDAA that, unbelievably, kept alive this indefensible provision that requires the purchase and shipment of coal from Pennsylvania to be used to heat a single military base in Germany. We pulled together a group of taxpayer-minded groups to write a letter of support for this amendment, (and against one you will read about in a moment) which you will find here.
F-35 Spare Parts:
* Rep. Cohen’s amendment #103 (introduced as #248) requires the Secretary of Defense to seek the return of payments made to Lockheed Martin for “non-Ready-For-Issue” spare parts. This is in response to a recent report of the Pentagon Inspector General. This is smart policy and the right thing to do.
* Reps. Schrader, Rooney, and Welch’s amendment #344 (introduced as #227) to require a report on the implementation of the recommendations of “Transforming Department of Defense’s Core Business Processes for Revolutionary Change.” This is something TCS has supported for several years.
* Rep. Garret Graves’ amendment #172 (introduced as #498) requiring a report on reducing the costs of operating the military commissaries and exchanges by $2 billion over five years is also an excellent idea.
* Rep. Fitzpatrick’s amendment #145 (introduced as #296) is a Sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should coordinate annual research requests across all services and offices of the Pentagon. This would be an excellent way to guard against wasteful spending on duplicative projects.
There is one amendment we do not support and urge a vote against:
* Reps. Brindisi and McKinley’s amendment #9 (introduced as #133) to require that Buy American provisions apply to flatware and tableware. This amendment has failed before and it should fail again. Our group of like-minded taxpayer groups agree with us in urging the rejection of this protectionist amendment.