Amendment Text: H.Amdt.48 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (03/15/2007)

This Amendment appears on page H2593-2594 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H2578-H2597]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                   ACCOUNTABILITY IN CONTRACTING ACT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 242 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 1362.

                              {time}  1109


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole

[[Page H2579]]

House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 
1362) to reform acquisition practices of the Federal Government, with 
Ms. Solis in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  General debate shall not exceed 1 hour and 20 minutes, with 1 hour 
equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and 20 
minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking 
minority member of the Committee on Armed Services.
  The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) and the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) each will control 30 minutes, and the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) and the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Hunter) each will control 10 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
of the time that has been reserved to us.
  The bill before us, H.R. 1362, the Accountability in Contracting Act, 
would increase transparency and accountability in Federal contracting, 
limit the use of certain types of abuse-prone contracts and promote 
integrity in the acquisition workforce.
  Under the Bush administration, spending on Federal contracts has 
exploded in size. The Federal Government spent $175 billion more in 
Federal contracts in 2005 than it did in 2000, making Federal contracts 
the fastest growing component of the Federal budget.
  The Federal Government now spends nearly 40 percent of discretionary 
spending on contracts with private companies, a record level. This 
surge in contract spending has enriched private contractors like 
Halliburton, but it has come at a steep cost to taxpayers through 
rising waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.
  Spending on sole source and other noncompetitive contracts has more 
than doubled in the last 5 years. The administration has justified the 
awarding of these lucrative sole source contracts by citing urgent and 
compelling needs, but then they allow these contracts to continue years 
after the emergency has passed.
  Cost reimbursement type contracts leave the taxpayers vulnerable to 
wasteful spending by providing contractors with little or no incentive 
to control costs. But between 2000 and 2005, the use of this type of 
contract has risen by 75 percent.
  The administration has also hidden contractor overcharges from 
Congress, international auditors and the public, impeding oversight and 
diminishing accountability. Too often, the independence of procurement 
of officials has been compromised by illegal relationships with 
government contractors.
  Darleen Druyun, the former chief acquisition official for the Air 
Force, negotiated a lucrative deal to lease aircraft from Boeing in 
exchange for future employment. All of these problems have been 
compounded by an insufficient acquisition workforce to properly award 
and adequately oversee Federal contracts.
  H.R. 1362 contains important provisions to rein in out-of-control 
Federal contracting. It would require Federal agencies to develop plans 
to minimize the use of the sole source contracts, and it would limit 
the duration of no-bid contracts issued in emergencies.
  The bill would also require agencies to encourage the use of fixed-
price contracts, which are not as prone to abuse as cost-plus 
contracts. This provision will allow the growth of contracts to give 
companies a financial incentive to increase their costs to the 
taxpayers.
  When a sole source contract is awarded, agencies are required to 
prepare a justification and approval document to explain why full and 
open competition was not used to award the contract. The bill would 
require those documents to be made public.
  The bill also promotes transparency in the acquisition process by 
requiring agencies to report to Congress when auditors identify over 
$10 million in questioned or unsupported costs. A big and growing 
problem with the Federal acquisition system is that it has a workforce 
that is too small and undertrained. The bill requires the 
administration to develop a comprehensive definition of the acquisition 
workforce and ensures that funds for training will continue to be 
available.
  Finally, the bill includes revolving door provisions that close 
loopholes in the law, prohibiting contracting officials from 
negotiating employment for their relatives and establish a cooling off 
period before procurement officials can award or oversee contracts 
involving a former employer.
  All of this is important legislation. This legislation alone will not 
do the job. We need, however, to continue our oversight, and Congress 
has already begun many oversight hearings in our committee and in other 
committees as well.
  Members are starting to ask what went wrong and to insist on 
accountability. But this legislation is an important reform in the 
contracting area. I want to thank my ranking member, Tom Davis, and the 
chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee for their 
hard work and efforts in reaching a bipartisan consensus on the bill 
before us.

                              {time}  1115

  The Accountability in Contracting Act makes sound commonsense reforms 
which will improve the transparency and accountability of the Federal 
acquisition system, and I urge Members to support the bill.
  Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  I rise today to speak on H.R. 1362, the Accountability in Contracting 
Act, which was introduced by Government Oversight and Reform chairman 
Henry Waxman last week. I want to thank the chairman for working with 
us.
  This is not a bill that we are particularly enthusiastic about. We 
have very divergent views in the way we should go about contract 
regulation, but we both want the same ends. And I want to commend him 
for working with us, addressing some of our concerns as it moved 
through the committee process.
  This bill would attempt to reform our acquisition system through a 
series of restrictions and reports geared towards greater regulation 
and oversight. More specifically, the legislation would limit the 
duration of contracts awarded under urgent conditions; require agency 
reports on minimizing the use of fixed-price and sole-source contracts; 
require additional reports to Congress on cost questions by auditors; 
and broaden the reach of current limitations on post-employment 
opportunities for our acquisition workforce, as well as limit the 
ability of acquisition workers hired by the government from the private 
sector to participate in certain acquisition activities.
  I want to thank the chairman again for working with me by including 
two provisions that we requested that are both intended to strengthen 
the Federal acquisition workforce through better training and 
management. The first would require the administrator for Federal 
Procurement Policy to come up with a government-wide definition for 
``acquisition workforce.'' This modification would help give Federal 
agencies a clear picture of the composition of their existing 
acquisition workforce and provide a baseline for the improvement of the 
human capital resource dedicated to the management of the acquisition 
workload. The second would make permanent the Acquisition Workforce 
Training Fund, which was first enacted under SARA, the Services 
Acquisition Reform Act, which I authored.
  Last week our committee revised the introduced version of the bill by 
approving an amendment I offered to address the concerns I had with the 
bill's expansion of post-employment restrictions. While I 
wholeheartedly support the desire to promote integrity, transparency 
and accountability in government, I was troubled by certain provisions 
in the bill which sought to significantly expand current post-
employment restrictions and curb the government's capability to take 
advantage of the valuable technical abilities and skills of former 
private-sector employees.
  At a time when we need to be looking for ways to retain qualified 
acquisition personnel, too many of whom are approaching retirement age, 
while at the same time looking for effective ways to

[[Page H2580]]

recruit new qualified people, the introduced version tried to instead 
impose new restrictions on these Federal employees. These restrictions 
would have had a detrimental impact on the executive branch's ability 
to recruit and retain the brightest and the best personnel for the 
acquisition workforce, something we can ill afford.
  Our amendment shortened the bill's 2-year post-employment 
restrictions on contracting officers to 1 year and provided for a 
waiver of the restrictions on the ability of acquisition workers hired 
by the government from the private sector to participate in certain 
acquisition activities. My amendment also shortened the duration of the 
activity restrictions from 2 years to 1 year. While this language goes 
part way toward addressing my concerns about the negative effects such 
restrictions have had on the Federal Government's ability to recruit, 
hire, and retain the skilled acquisition workforce, I continue to have 
the same concerns.
  The bottom line is that there are too many good people working for 
this government for us to pass onerous restrictions based on the 
misdeeds of a handful of employees. We need to promote the natural 
churn of employees between the public and private sector, instead of 
trying to stymie it. We can't, on the one hand, bemoan the quality of 
contract management, while on the other, create more obstacles to 
getting the people that we need to do the job.
  In addition to the changes we made in committee last week, I am 
pleased to see the text of the bill that is on the floor today includes 
the good work of the Committee on Armed Services. That committee made 
significant improvements and clarifications to the underlying bill. The 
Armed Services Committee toned down some of the rhetoric in the bill. 
For example, by changing terms like ``limiting the abuse of abuse-prone 
contracts'' to ``improving the quality of contracts.''
  More substantively, the Armed Services Committee raised the threshold 
of the report on preliminary audits of contractor costs from $1 million 
to $10 million. Nonetheless, I remain concerned a report like this, 
even at the higher threshold and the limitation to significant 
contractor costs, still presents a distorted and incomplete picture of 
the management of cost-type contracts. Contract auditors are critical 
cogs in the management system. They write audit reports which are 
submitted to aid the contracting officer in making his final 
determination whether particular costs are reasonable and consistent 
with applicable law and the contract terms and, therefore, permitted or 
what we call ``allowable under the contract.'' It is the outcome of the 
oversight process, not just the first phase, that we should be 
reviewing. If we want an accurate picture of costs actually billed to 
the government which the contracting officer determined the government 
will not pay, the unallowables, then we might learn something. But that 
is not what this bill does. The bill would only burden agencies with 
another meaningless reporting requirement and, I might add, add fodder 
up here for Members to take this review and make something of it that 
is probably not accurate.

  Each year our Federal contract professionals use the acquisition 
system to purchase almost $400 billion worth of goods and services, 
ranging from paper clips to advanced weapons system, from sophisticated 
information technology and management services to grass cutting and 
window washing. Recent reforms, culminating in our Services Acquisition 
Reform Act of 2003, have modernized the way the government does 
business with the private sector. No longer is our government laden 
with inflexible, timely, and costly acquisition systems. Legislative 
efforts over the past decade have provided many of the tools necessary 
for our acquisition professionals to get the job done.
  Unfortunately, the Federal acquisition system has been under stress 
in recent years because of the extraordinary pressures of a shrinking 
workforce, combined with the unprecedented Hurricane Katrina disaster 
relief and recovery efforts, the enormous job of managing contractors 
who provide logistical support for our troops in Iraq, and overseeing 
the daunting task of building an Iraqi infrastructure. To no one's 
surprise, this strain has resulted in a series of management problems 
that have been exaggerated by the press and exploited by opponents of 
the system.
  Nevertheless, the system has worked pretty well, and the vast 
majority of the government's acquisitions have been conducted properly. 
The problems have largely been the result of management difficulties 
exacerbated by an overburdened and understaffed workforce, combined 
with improper actions by a handful of officials.
  Frankly, Madam Chairman, I don't think that controls, reports, 
procedures and restrictions in this bill will go very far in addressing 
the challenges that face us today. Reverting to the bloated system of 
the past, weighted down with a process-oriented system doesn't help the 
government acquire the best valuable goods and services the commercial 
market has to offer and our government so desperately needs in a timely 
manner. Reverting to the past, under the rubric of fraud, waste and 
abuse and cleaning up the system may provide flashy sound bites and 
play well back home, but it doesn't give us the world-class acquisition 
system that we need to compete in the 21st century.
  We have put the current system to the test in some of the most 
difficult environments imaginable: Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and 
Iraqi logistics and contracting and reconstruction. The failures which 
occurred have been rooted in the inadequacies of management and 
implementation.
  And yet the Rules Committee, in looking at the Armed Services 
Committee report and ours, took out the provision that had the 1 
percent additional funding for some of the management and 
implementation dollars that could have gone into training.
  As legislators, we should resist the temptation to micromanage our 
acquisition system based on unproven anecdotes of failure and 
misconduct. More controls and procedures will not remedy poorly defined 
requirements or provide us with a sufficient number of Federal 
acquisition personnel with the right skills to select the best 
contractor and manage the subsequent performance.
  Why should we force the taxpayers and private entities to undergo 
unreasonable burdens so politicians can reap short-term gain at the 
expense of crippling an already overburdened acquisition system and 
workforce?
  It is for these reasons, Madam Chairman, we find this bill has 
sufficient shortcomings. These shortcomings are shared by the 
administration in their statement on administration policy in the ITAA, 
and I will discuss those as the debate goes further.
  Finally, let me just say, this country, over the years, has had the 
debate over what is the appropriate role of oversight, how much is too 
much. But we need an acquisition system that works. And sometimes we 
spend so much in our rules and regulations, making sure somebody 
doesn't steal anything, that they can't do much of anything else 
either; and we get a system that is burdened and that does not create 
the efficiencies that we need to more forward. Once again, one of the 
greater issues that divide the chairman and myself is our philosophies 
on contracting. But I want to just commend him for working with us on 
this bill to try to get to where it is today. I know this is important 
to him.
  Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chairwoman, I am pleased to yield 4\1/2\ minutes to 
a very important member of our committee, the gentleman from Maryland 
(Mr. Cummings).
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Madam Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 1362, 
the Accountability in Contracting Act, which I have cosponsored, 
because we have an obligation to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
  I am simply appalled by the reports of pervasive waste, fraud and 
abuse in government contracting.
  As chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime 
Transportation, I led a hearing back on January 30 on the U.S. Coast 
Guard's troubled $24 billion 25-year-long Integrated Deep Water Systems 
Project.
  The project was supposed to modernize the Coast Guard's aging fleet, 
but a series of failures by contractors and poor oversight by the Coast 
Guard have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars instead.

[[Page H2581]]

  In one of the more disturbing examples, the modernization of 49, 110-
foot patrol boats was halted when the hulls of the first eight 
modernized boats cracked upon being sent out to sea.
  In the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and in the House 
Armed Services Committee, we have consistently heard reports of waste, 
fraud and abuse in Iraq contracting. Examples include: a report from 
the Iraq Special Inspector General, Stuart Bowen. He found gross 
mismanagement in a $75 million contract awarded to Parsons Corporation 
to build the largest police academy in Iraq. According to the report, 
the police academy was so poorly constructed that feces and urine 
rained from the ceilings into the barracks of students, floors heaved 
inches off the ground and cracked apart, and water dripped so profusely 
in one room that it was dubbed ``the rainforest.''
  Investigators fear that, with its structural integrity in question, 
the academy is beyond repair, and public health concerns are being 
raised.
  Unfortunately, this scenario is not unprecedented. In total, Pentagon 
auditors have identified $3.5 billion in questionable and unsupported 
costs in Iraq reconstruction contracts. For one Halliburton contract 
alone, its $16.5 billion logistic civil augmentation program, the 
Defense Contract Audit Agency, identified $1.1 billion in questionable 
costs.
  Halliburton whistleblowers have shed light on the company's deceitful 
practices, reporting that the company paid subcontractors up to $45 for 
a case of soda and $100 for a 15-pound bag of laundry.
  And the IG in the past has reported that Parsons, despite spending 
$186 million of a $500 million contract to build hospitals and health 
clinics, has barely gotten the project off the ground, with just 20 of 
the 142 clinics completed. The list of such atrocities is endless.
  Last Monday we visited Walter Reed Medical Center for a field hearing 
of the Oversight and Government Reforms Committee's Subcommittee on 
National Security and Foreign Affairs to investigate reports that 
substandard treatment is being provided to our troops and veterans. 
There, too, contracting played a role.
  It appears that wherever we find failures in government these days, 
contractors are sure to be involved. We have consistently been told by 
this administration that privatization of critical government functions 
would cost less. But instead it has been both costly and ineffective.
  We need accountability in contracting. We need the Accountability in 
Contracting Act. This vitally important legislation would institute 
critical reforms, including limiting the length of non-competitive 
contracts, minimizing no-bid contracts, minimizing cost-plus contracts, 
ensuring public disclosure of justification for no-bid contracts, 
disclosing contractor overcharges, funding contract oversight, and 
closing the revolving door.

                              {time}  1130

  Mr. Chairman, I want to applaud you for doing such an outstanding job 
on this legislation. And I strongly urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 
1362, the Accountability in Contracting Act.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chairwoman, I yield to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan) for a unanimous consent request.
  Mr. DUNCAN. Madam Chairwoman, I rise at this time to request 
unanimous consent to place a statement in the Record in regard to H.R. 
1362.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Tennessee?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. DUNCAN. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of this bill, and I 
thank all who have worked to bring this legislation to the floor today.
  I wish the bill went much further, but there are so many former 
Federal employees working for Federal contractors now, and so many 
present Federal employees who want to some day hitch on to this 
lucrative Federal gravy train, that the pressures against reform are 
tremendous.
  Unfortunately, almost every Federal contract is a sweetheart or 
insider or friendship type deal. Almost all Federal contracts have at 
least one or usually several former Federal employees working for them.
  Defense contractors are the prime examples. The International Herald 
Tribune had an article a year and a half ago describing what it called 
the revolving door at the Pentagon.
  It said the top 20 defense contractors had hired over 300 retired 
admirals and generals during the 90s.
  But this type of thing is rampant throughout the Federal Government.
  Now I am not against the Federal Government contracting out many 
functions.
  Usually, or often, the Federal bureaucracy is so wasteful and 
inefficient that Federal contractors can do things better or cheaper, 
even while making huge profits.
  But some of the markups on contracts in Iraq have been mind boggling. 
I believe fiscal conservatives should be the ones most upset about some 
of the ripoff deals in Iraq.
  Be that as it may, this bill helps highlight what has become a 
serious abuse of power, and abuse of the taxpayer, and this is a good 
start toward correcting this problem.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  The administration strongly opposes H.R. 1362, which would impose a 
new statutory ban on how the government uses acquisition personnel and 
would restrict the executive branch's ability to determine the 
appropriate funding for acquisition workforce functions.
  That is what they say on their statement on administration policy. We 
also note that other provisions would impose burdensome statutory 
requirements that overlap with more efficient administrative efforts to 
strengthen the use of competition and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse.
  The administration also feels that this legislation would limit the 
Federal Government's ability to tap technical expertise of Federal 
employees who are former contractor employees.
  Frankly, we need the best and the brightest overseeing these 
contracts. As I take a look at contracts that have failed, a lot of it 
is due to the fact that we have not had appropriate oversight within 
the executive branch, and being able to get the best and the brightest 
is a very, very critical component to this. These restrictions, the 
administration feels, would lower the quality of procurement, 
solicitations, and analyses and would significantly harm the executive 
branch's ability to recruit and retain the experienced procurement 
officials from the private sector to close skill gaps and strengthen 
the overall capabilities of the acquisition workforce.
  The administration also is concerned with the new requirement in the 
bill that would impose exhaustive quarterly reporting on every 
significant contract management deficiency at the contractor and 
subcontractor levels. This requirement will interfere with agencies' 
abilities to address and resolve contract performance problems in a 
timely manner.
  The Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, 
Virginia says: The Association joined with other members of the 
Acquisition Reform Working Group in pointing out flaws in H.R. 1362, 
while saying that such significant legislation deserves the same light-
of-day and careful consideration as do the major government contracts 
that the majority seeks to control.
  They note that the title of the bill alone mistakenly implies a lack 
of accountability for government contractors under current law. Their 
president, Phil Bond, notes that ``to the contrary, there is already 
abundant chapter and verse to bring best value to government and to 
protect the interest of taxpayers. What is really needed is better 
application of existing regulations by a fully staffed professional 
Federal acquisition corps working with responsible government 
contractors.''
  The letter also points out to committee leaders that many of the 
contracting issues now being addressed are ``symptoms of the shortages 
of manpower and training for adequate contract management.'' And they 
note that ``the government can't retain personnel and fill existing job 
openings in the acquisition workforce.''
  They also joined the working group in taking issue with the sections 
of the bill regarding disclosure of government contractor overcharges. 
While agreeing that the proper use and oversight of government 
contracts is paramount, they dispute any need for quarterly reports to 
Congress on contract charges that are adjudicated by the Defense 
Contract Audit Agency, the DCAA. They note that these are unnecessary 
provisions and would force significant

[[Page H2582]]

investment and government resources and additional burdens on 
acquisition personnel. So the ITAA comes out against it.
  They also note that another section of the bill that seeks more 
restrictive cost reimbursement-type contracts is also unnecessary and 
potentially harmful. They note that such contracts typically are used 
when uncertainties and risks are high, as in emergency situations, and 
development programs when it is not feasible to set a fixed price for 
the work required. The Federal Acquisitions Regulations, the FAR, 
already establishes detailed criteria for proper selection of contract 
type, including limitations on the use of cost-type contracts ``for use 
only when uncertainties involved in contract performance do not permit 
costs to be estimated with sufficient accuracy to suit any type of 
fixed price contract.''
  Madam Chairwoman, if we want to fix the Federal contracting system, 
the appropriate way is to hire, train, retrain, and pay well our 
acquisition personnel so that they have a toolbox of acquisition 
options to use to get the best deal for the government in every case, 
get the best value for the government. The taxpayers' dollars are at 
stake here, and their role ought to be to make sure the taxpayer 
dollars are spent most efficiently.
  Adding burdens and layers and layers of regulatory reports do nothing 
to help that situation at all, and in many cases it can be very 
misleading as these burdens come out and we start taking out DCAA 
reports that have nothing to do with final adjudications of how these 
work. We already, by the way, have access to that information in 
Congress. What we don't have access to information is, and one of the 
things we would have liked to include, is to take final adjudications 
on costs that were deemed allowable and see what those costs are per 
contractor. That could have helped us in ferreting out which 
contractors are using these items. But this legislation does little to 
remedy those situations, unfortunately.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chairwoman, I recognize and yield to a very 
distinguished member of our committee, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Davis) for 3 minutes.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Madam Chair, I want to thank Chairman Waxman 
for yielding.
  I have always been told that one of the basic responsibilities of 
management is to effectively manage and account for the resources of 
the corporation, of the country, of the business. And, of course, in 
this instance we are talking about the United States Government; and 
all of us are shareholders, are stakeholders.
  And I must confess that when I look at the record of our chief 
management team, we have come up woefully short. We have seen raw 
examples of waste, fraud, and abuse: no paper trails, no real rationale 
for why a contract or contracts were let.
  And I want to commend Chairman Waxman for effectively laying out a 
bill of particulars against these current practices. The hearings that 
were held on contracting accountability were so revealing. As a matter 
of fact, much of the information that we saw, we just couldn't believe 
in terms of contracts that were let and nobody could tell what had 
happened as a result of the contract, what was the work that was done, 
who did it.
  This legislation will limit the length of noncompetitive contracts, 
minimize no-bid contracts, maximize fixed-price contracts, require 
public disclosure of justification of no-bid contracts, disclose 
contractor overcharges, and promote ethics in procurement which is so 
important.
  Every dollar spent by this Government should get maximum return for 
the shareholders. We have not seen that in our contracting policies and 
practices. And I commend the chairman not only for the oversight but 
also for the corrective action which we are about to take today by 
passing this legislation.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chairwoman, may I inquire as to how 
much time is left on each side?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Virginia has 14\1/2\ minutes; the 
gentleman from California has 17 minutes.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I would like to now yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Sarbanes), a member of our committee.
  Mr. SARBANES. I thank the gentleman from California for yielding his 
time.
  I rise to strongly support H.R. 1362, the Accountability in 
Contracting Act, and I want to thank Chairman Waxman for his leadership 
in shepherding this bill through to the floor.
  This will establish a structure that will rein in the abuses in 
government contracting that we have been having hearing after hearing 
about over the last few weeks. By putting emergency no-bid contracts 
into position where they are limited to 1 year, requiring agencies to 
develop plans to try to limit the number of those contracts, and also 
to promote fixed-price contracts instead of cost-plus contracts, we can 
promote much more transparency in the way these contracts are let.
  One particular way in which these emergency no-bid contracts can be 
exploited came to our attention during a hearing, and that is, often 
the cost structure is not put in place for some time after the contract 
is let under emergency conditions. This allows the contractor to front-
load a lot of costs that can be very difficult for the auditors to come 
in and question later. And so in limiting the number of no-bid 
contracts and emergency contracts that are let, we can discourage that 
kind of activity.
  Madam Chairman, the administration is really engaged over the last 
few years in sort of a two-step shuffle that seeks to discredit good 
government, and bad contracting gives a bad name to good government.
  On the one hand, what they have done with many of our Federal 
agencies is they have cut resources. That makes it more difficult for 
good Federal employees to do their job, and they point at that and then 
they say government doesn't work. And on the other hand, they have this 
impulse to outsource and contract things to the private sector in 
situations where that may not be warranted, without any accountability 
or oversight. And then, when things go wrong, they point to it and they 
say, see, government doesn't work.
  There are going to be times when we have to outsource things, when we 
have to procure services from the private sector. At a very minimum, 
when we do that, we need to make sure that it is done with transparency 
and accountability. If we do that, we can restore faith in the notion 
of good and accountable government.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Let me start by saying we all want to limit the use of no-bid 
contracts. These go back of course to the Revolutionary War, where the 
troops were marching and they needed food and there is one farmer 
around. And you can't go out to bid to see who is going to sell you the 
lowest corn; you take what is there. But they should be limited, 
because competition is the cornerstone of our contracting system.
  Let me go through some of the assertions that are made in support of 
the bill and give my thoughts.
  Assertion one is that spending on sole source and other 
noncompetitive contracts has more than doubled over the last 5 years. 
And although spending has increased significantly over the last 5 
years, it is due largely to 9/11 and Katrina. The total dollars 
competed is a percentage of total dollars available for competition. It 
has remained relatively constant between fiscal years 2001 and 2006, 
between 61 and 64 percent, according to the FPDS.
  This notwithstanding, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy 
Administrator will be seeking to help in the leadership of the CAOs to 
reinvigorate through administrative means the use of competition and 
related practice for achieving a competitive environment. The role of 
competition advocates should be revived, with special emphasis on 
planning and execution in the management of hard-to-task and delivery 
orders.
  There is an assertion that over the last 5 years the administration 
has jeopardized taxpayer interests and squandered hundreds of millions 
of dollars by giving private contractors exclusive control over huge 
portions of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

[[Page H2583]]

  Frankly, DOD is giving increased attention to contingency 
contracting, including training for acquisition and program personnel 
and standard operating procedures. The Department of Defense and other 
agencies have recognized the need to increase the number of 
prepositioned, competitively awarded contracts to address 
contingencies. Also, the Department of Defense has several audit 
agencies including the Defense Audit Agency and Defense Contract 
Management Agency working in theater to monitor the contracts and 
resources.

                              {time}  1145

  Another assertion that comes from the other side is that this 
administration has justified the award of lucrative sole source 
contracts by citing urgent and compelling needs but then allowed these 
contracts to continue years after the emergency has passed.
  The Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the CAOC, has established an 
Emergency Response and Recovery Working Group to improve access to 
information that can assist the acquisition workforce in planning for 
and addressing emergencies. The working group created a community of 
practice Web site, accessible at http://acc.dau.mil/emergencyresponse, 
so that agencies can share information about their policies and 
procedures, their best practices, their training resources, and other 
information of interest. For example, the site provides a link to the 
Emergency Acquisition Field Guide developed by FEMA so other agencies 
can learn about and adopt, as appropriate, practices employed by FEMA 
for performing specific assignments or functions in an emergency 
acquisition environment.
  The emergency response and recovery Web site includes a list of 
interagency contracts that offer the types of supplies and services 
that were required by agencies to address disaster recovery for Katrina 
and 9/11, such as communications equipment, fuel and transportation, 
pharmaceuticals, portable shelters, generators, tarps, bottled water, 
and emergency meals. The GSA has established a disaster relief and 
emergency preparedness homepage that provides a quick reference guide 
to offerings on its Multiple Award Schedules that can be suitable for 
addressing readiness, intervention, counteractive solutions, or post-
emergency logistics.
  Another assertion is that cost reimbursement-type contracts leave the 
taxpayer vulnerable to wasteful spending by providing contractors with 
little or no incentive to control costs. Between 2000 and 2005, the use 
of this type of contract has risen 75 percent.
  Frankly, according to the FPDS again, the total government spending 
on contracts has increased considerably, roughly at the same percentage 
as the increases in cost-type contracts stated above. From fiscal year 
2000 to fiscal year 2005, total spending increased from $219 billion to 
$380 billion.
  But cost-type contracts play a useful and necessary role in 
contracting when uncertainties involved in contract performance don't 
permit costs to be estimated with sufficient accuracy to use any type 
of fixed-price contract. And the contractors get caught on these many 
times when they move ahead and they estimate it to be one thing and 
then the needs of the contract change and they end up having to advance 
costs. So cost-type contracts in these types of situations are proven 
useful, but they are only good when they get the appropriate oversight 
from the procurement officers. And we don't address that underlying 
issue in a significant way in this legislation.
  Agencies such as NASA rely on cost-type contracts for critical R 
work, such as planetary science and exploration missions, systems 
development operation support in physical engineering, and life 
sciences. In the early 1980s, there was a push towards fixed-price 
contracts for R to address failed major programs, cost overruns. But 
ultimately Congress passed legislation requiring a secretarial approval 
for contracts over $25 million. DOD regulations preclude award of a 
fixed-price contract for a development program unless the level of 
program risk permits realistic pricing and the use of a fixed-price 
type contract allows an equitable and sensible allocation of program 
risk between the government and the contractor.
  Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Lynch).
  Mr. LYNCH. Madam Chair, I want to, first of all, thank the gentleman 
for yielding.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 1362, the Accountability in 
Contracting Act. This is contract reform legislation that was reported 
favorably out of our Oversight Committee by unanimous consent, and I 
think that speaks to the merits of this bill. As a result of the hard 
work of Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis, this is a good first 
step in bringing accountability to contracting practices in our 
government.
  By minimizing the use, as others have said, of the abusive no-bid 
contract practice, we will reintroduce competition into this 
contracting protocol used by our government. As well as limiting the 
use of cost-plus contracts, we will strengthen the reporting and 
disclosure requirements for contract overcharges and increase funding 
for contract oversight personnel. H.R. 1362 will address the glaring 
weaknesses in our Federal procurement system that have caused 
considerable waste, fraud, and abuse of American taxpayer dollars.
  The need to reform Federal contracting law has been with us for some 
time and demonstrated, I think, glaringly during our series of 
contracting hearings in the House Oversight Committee, as we continue 
to examine a variety of misguided and poorly managed, poorly designed, 
and extremely costly Federal contracts that have been issued.
  In the area of Iraq reconstruction, where we have spent a lot of 
time, we have learned from William Reed, the Director of the DCAA, the 
Defense Contract Audit Agency, of more than $10 billion, 10 billion 
with a ``b,'' in questioned and unsupported costs related to our Iraq 
reconstruction and troop support contracts. In addition, based on 
updated data provided to the committee by DCAA, we know that 
Halliburton's three massive cost-plus contracts alone are the source of 
at least $2.7 billion in questioned and unsupported billings. And until 
recently, unfortunately, we have not had auditors on the ground in 
Iraq. The DCAA did not have contractors on the ground to review these 
contracts. They were auditing these contracts from Alexandria, 
Virginia. We have changed that process and put people on the ground.
  In the area of homeland security, we recently examined the Department 
of Homeland Security's $24 billion contract to modernize the Coast 
Guard's aging fleet and the $30 billion SBInet contract to design and 
implement a modernized border security plan. Based on thousands of 
pages of documents provided by DHS to our committee, we have learned 
that the Department's oversight of these massive contracts is severely 
limited by what they call the ``prime integrator'' contracts. These 
prime integrator contracts vest the government oversight responsibility 
in program design and construction to contractors to do this very work. 
In addition, we came to find out the Department had actually contracted 
out oversight functions that it had retained under the contract terms.
  This is a good first step. And I want to give great credit to 
Chairman Waxman for his good work and also Mr. Davis for building 
compromise in this, and I think that the American taxpayers will be 
better served by the result of the work of these two gentlemen.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I would like to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  (Mrs. MALONEY of New York asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Madam Chairman, I thank very much the 
gentleman's yielding and for his extraordinary leadership on protecting 
taxpayers' money by better oversight of our contracting policies. And I 
congratulate former Chairman Davis and Chairman Waxman on the 
Accountability in Contracting Act that we are passing today.
  I feel so strongly about it because if we really manage our dollars 
better,

[[Page H2584]]

then we will have more dollars for the services that we need for our 
people. And I urge all of my colleagues and all of my constituents and 
really the listening public to read this excellent report that has come 
out from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on ``Dollars, 
not Sense: Government Contracting Under the Bush Administration.'' And 
it shows that sole source contracts have absolutely ballooned. They 
have grown dramatically from $67 billion in 2000 to over $145 billion 
in 2005. These are contracts that only one person gets. It is as if I 
handed you a lollipop. It is giving someone billions and billions of 
dollars, and I believe there are many talented businesses, many 
talented individuals in this country that should deserve the right to 
compete for these contracts.
  This bill makes it easier for them to compete and, I believe, will 
save taxpayers dollars by the billions. It says if we give Halliburton 
or some other company a sole source no-bid contract worth billions and 
billions of dollars, then they have to tell us why we should give it to 
them. They have to file a document called the Justification and 
Approval Document. That is the least that we can do for the American 
taxpayer, to build in some transparency and some accountability. It 
also has many other important reforms in it.
  But I must say of all the areas of mismanagement, contracting may 
look dull, but it is billions of dollars that if we were better 
stewards, we would have those dollars for education and health care.
  I commend the chairman for his leadership on cracking down on this 
waste, fraud, and abuse and really shoddy mismanagement that has 
ballooned into billions of sole source contracts.
  If you read this report, it is really chilling.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
majority leader of the House of Representatives (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding. I thank 
Mr. Davis for his work on this legislation. And I rise in strong 
support.
  I want to commend the chairman on the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform, Congressman Waxman of California, for his hard work 
and leadership on the five, not just this bill, but on the five 
government accountability and transparency bills considered on the 
House floor this week. This has been a very significant week for 
transparency, openness, and accountability in government, and I commend 
the chairman for his actions and the committee for its.
  It is no mere coincidence that the four bipartisan bills we have 
considered so far have passed with an average of 340 votes, including 
on average 112 Republican votes for every one of these four and now 
fifth reform bills. So there is not a narrow partisan agenda here. What 
the committee has been bringing to the floor are bills broadly 
supported because we know that transparency and accountability in 
government have not been the norm. We need to restore the public's 
faith in its government.
  In fact, there is a clear demonstration of the new Democratic 
majority's commitment to change the way business is done in Washington, 
to restore accountability for government practices and congressional 
oversight and to reach bipartisan consensus when possible. The four 
bills included measures to increase public access to government 
information by strengthening the Freedom of Information Act. After all, 
this information is gathered by taxpayer dollars.
  To provide whistleblower protection to Federal workers who specialize 
in national security issues. To nullify an executive order issued by 
President Bush giving former Presidents and Vice Presidents broad 
authority to withhold presidential records or to delay their release 
indefinitely. The public has a right to know, and this legislation 
facilitates the redress of that right.
  Lastly, to require the disclosure of donors to presidential libraries 
so there cannot be secret, very large contributions to Presidents 
before they leave office.
  It should be noted that the first three measures passed 
overwhelmingly despite veto threats from the White House that 
apparently does not want openness or accountability or transparency.
  All four bills are reasonable, prudent, and consistent with our 
Nation's democratic values and openness and accountability.
  The legislation before us today, the Accountability in Contracting 
Act, is equally important. In short, this legislation would instruct 
Federal agencies to minimize the use of no-bid contracts. Why? Because 
we want lowest prices. How do we get lowest prices? By competition. 
That is the free enterprise system. This bill says let us pursue the 
free enterprise system.
  It would promote the use of cost-effective, fixed-price contracts and 
limit the duration of no-bid contracts awarded in emergencies to 1 
year.
  This bill also would require the public disclosure of the rationale 
for using no-bid contracts and require agencies to report to Congress 
on contracts on overcharges.

                              {time}  1200

  Madam Chairman, it is unfortunate, but true, that problems in 
government contracting have arisen again and again during the last 6 
years, and indeed before that, from the $2.4 billion, however, in no-
bid contracts for Halliburton, that soon-to-be Dubai company based in 
Dubai, to the failed contracting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  Furthermore, Madam Chairman, it should be noted that spending on no-
bid contracts has more than doubled under the Bush administration, even 
as hearings have exposed a pattern of reckless spending, poor planning 
and ineffective oversight by Federal contract officials.
  This legislation, like the other four bills brought to the floor by 
Mr. Waxman considered this week, will help us begin to restore 
accountability and transparency to government. The American people 
expect and deserve no less.
  This is a new day in this new Congress. The days of hear no evil, see 
no evil, speak no evil are over. This Congress embraces its 
constitutional responsibility to conduct real, meaningful oversight, as 
well as our value of openness and transparency.
  Two days from now is St. Patrick's Day. The Taoiseach, the Prime 
Minister of Ireland, will be at lunch just a few feet from here any 
minute. Honor St. Patrick; vote green on this accountability 
legislation.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Will the gentleman yield for just one 
comment?
  Mr. HOYER. I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Let me just note that on the bills on the 
Presidential records, the library, the whistleblowers, Mr. Waxman and 
his staff have worked very well with us. And the record should show 
that the reason we got such big bipartisan majority was their 
willingness to bend back and our ability to work back and forth. And I 
want to, again, commend him.
  We have other differences on this bill which is close to my heart 
that I think he understands and we understand; but even here they have 
worked with us. And I think the record should note that they have gone 
out of their way and we appreciate that.
  Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, I want to say that I spoke a lot about 
accountability and the lack of accountability in the last Congress, and 
in my opinion, the two Congresses before that. The chairman of the 
Government Reform Committee was one of the few chairmen, in my opinion, 
in the last Congress who undertook some oversight responsibility, and I 
commend him for that. I think we need to go further; we are going 
further; but I commend him for his recognition that oversight is a 
critical responsibility of this Congress, just as the referee is a 
critically important component of any football game or basketball game.
  So I thank him for what he has done in the past. I thank him for his 
cooperation in working with our chairman on the three bills that we 
passed this week so far, and I would hope that we can pass this bill. 
If we make it better in conference, that's fine; but this is a good 
bill and an important bill, and I thank the gentleman for his efforts.

[[Page H2585]]

  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I yield myself 1 minute to note again the 
reason for the rise in sole-source contracts has been emergencies like 
9/11 and Katrina, under which the exigencies which government is faced 
with at that point to meet in a timely manner doesn't allow you to go 
out in these cases for a wide swath of bids. But I think we share a 
common desire to bring more competition into government contracting.
  I also want to note that at our committee hearing on February 8, the 
Inspector General, Richard Skinner, testified that the government's 
greatest exposure to fraud, waste and abuse is undoubtedly in the area 
of procurement. As already pointed out by members of this committee, he 
notes, the problem is not a new one. It dates back to the Federal 
Government's nearsighted policies in the early 1990s to reduce the 
Federal workforce. While acquisition management capabilities were being 
downsized, the procurement workload was on the rise.
  I hope to continue to work with the gentleman as we focus on this 
acquisition workforce and give them the tools they need.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased now to yield 2 minutes to a 
new member of our committee, but who has been a valuable member and 
raised a great deal of concern about these issues, the gentleman from 
Connecticut (Mr. Murphy).
  Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  I rise today to simply thank Chairman Waxman and many of his 
compatriots on the other side of the aisle for giving us this week.
  If you want to know why there are so many new Members in this Chamber 
today, it is that there have been a lot of people in this country who 
have been waiting for this week.
  You know, we sit around and we wonder sometimes why we feel this 
disconnect between the people out there in the American public and 
their government. Well, there is a sense on their behalf that the 
government somehow exists separate from them, that it is an entity that 
is wholly divorced from what is happening out in the real world, and 
that government has ended up setting its own rules that don't really 
have applicability to their own lives and how they manage their own 
existences.
  And I think the issue of how we have gone about contracting, whether 
it be for this war or for other domestic and foreign endeavors, is a 
perfect example of how we have broken down that contract between 
government and its people. They look to the $100 billion in no-bid 
contracts, many of which going to companies that didn't need any more 
help. They look at Halliburton and other companies like it get rich 
while local programs that help people in the communities, middle-class 
working families with health care and education wither on the vine. And 
I think they look with a renewed sense of faith and optimism to this 
House, not just this week, but in how we have gone about keeping their 
money and regaining their faith.
  It started on the first day when those of us who got sworn in were 
lucky enough to cast a vote in favor of new budget rules that will make 
sure that we keep better track of the money that comes in and don't 
rack up record deficits. And it continues today, Mr. Chairman, with a 
renewed commitment to responsible contracting.
  I am happy to be standing next to my new chairman, Mr. Waxman. I am 
happy to be here today in our process of restoring that faith in the 
government that our people have lost.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I would yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio, a member of the committee, Mr. Turner.
  Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Davis.
  Yesterday I was on the House floor as part of the discussion 
concerning the Freedom of Information Act amendments and as we 
discussed the issue of the dedication of this week of open government.
  Open government is an important issue because it is one that we all 
know that by being dedicated to information being available to the 
public, we can hold our government accountable. Unfortunately, we have 
an irony once again happening on the House floor, and that is that 
today's bill that we are considering is one that went through 
committee, Government Reform Committee, which I serve on, and the Armed 
Services Committee, which I serve on, and went through hearings where 
there were amendments that were provided and Members were able to 
participate. But this bill today is not the bill that came before those 
two committees. It has been amended in some backroom deal that we are 
all decrying here on the House floor, with language that has not been 
through the committee or the subcommittee. If the public were looking 
at this bill as it went through those two committees, they would not 
find that this language matches that which went through the committees. 
Certainly, as we dedicate ourselves to open government, we should 
dedicate ourselves to a process where the bills that are here are 
available and open to the public and the members of these two 
committees.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. May I inquire as to how much time I have 
remaining.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN (Mr. Hastings of Florida). The gentleman has 6\1/
2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
California, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Mr. 
Hunter.
  Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
  I am going to speak a little bit during our section on this bill, but 
I just wanted to invite the majority leader, Mr. Hoyer, to come back 
down to the floor and to talk a little bit about the statement that he 
just made to the effect that there hasn't been any oversight over the 
last several years.
  I am reminded of our teams that left the Armed Services Committee, 
went out to the companies that were up-armoring Humvees, started to 
move that schedule to the left, that means getting those Humvees 
quicker to the troops; and when they were told that there was a steel 
shortage, moving to the steel mills, finding out what the problem was. 
When they were told it might be a problem with too many shifts or not 
enough shifts with union employees, meeting with union employees, 
getting those shifts put on line, getting that steel produced, getting 
it to the Humvee factories and moving it out to the field.
  I am also reminded of the times when we moved ahead quickly with what 
the gentleman has criticized as sole-source contracts when our troops 
in the field didn't have any dismounted jammers. That means the ability 
to stop an electronic signal that fires off a roadside bomb that hurts 
our troops. This committee moved quickly to give the Secretary of 
Defense the ability to waive all acquisition and competition 
regulations so you could do one thing, get equipment that protects our 
troops to the battlefield quicker. And we did that in terms of the 
first dismounted jammer that we produced, something that a marine or a 
GI could carry on a patrol that would keep a bad guy from detonating a 
roadside bomb that could kill him or his squad. Using this new system 
instead of the old system, we were able to, R, build in the United 
States and move into the warfighting theater 10,000 jammers for our 
troops within 70 days.
  Now, the system that the gentleman is wedded to and loves so much, 
the slow system, the system in which you have interminable appeals, in 
which you have competitions that take months and months, sometimes 
years, is now working on the next generation of portable jammer. It has 
been a year, and we don't have that jammer fielded yet for troops in a 
portable fashion.
  So I would just say to the gentleman who has been criticizing the 
contractor corps, 389 American contractors have been killed in this war 
so far, in this war against terror. They are great people, probably 
some of them from the gentleman's district. And the idea that he is 
trying to offer to this body, which I think is smart enough to reject 
that idea, that somehow there was no oversight in the theater, and by 
making these fairly minor changes, and these are fairly minor changes, 
we marked them up, they are nips and tucks in the oversight system. 
Somehow the judgment of the thousands of people who oversee our 
contracts around the world will now go from bad to good. That is 
obviously in great error. In fact, the same people are in place 
administering contracts; the same people are risking their lives in 
Iraq and Afghanistan to

[[Page H2586]]

support our warfighters. And by and large, they are doing an excellent 
job.
  And we are going to get into later, into the added restrictions that 
the majority has placed on people who are participating in contract 
decisions, participating in a broad category called ``administering'' 
and the vagueness that attaches to that that might make a person 
civilly liable if they walk into the wrong meeting at the wrong time 
and they are ultimately prosecuted or fined civilly for making that 
mistake.
  You know, we have great members of our staffs in the Armed Services 
Committee and indeed in all the committees in the House of 
Representatives. We shouldn't put a more onerous burden on the people 
that work in the rest of government than we would put on our own staff.
  And I would say to my colleagues, one thing you have got to have when 
you have penalties, whether they are civil or criminal, that attach to 
action, you better define the action and you better define it clearly 
enough that staff members know exactly what they are doing and know 
exactly where the line is so they don't cross that line.
  And let me just finish by saying that the gentleman from Maryland 
(Mr. Hoyer), who I consider to be a friend, has done a real disservice 
to the great men and women who serve in a contracting capacity for this 
country by implying that somehow they haven't been doing their job and 
somehow the committees of this Congress have not been doing their job 
in this war against terror.
  I thank my friend from Virginia for yielding me a couple of minutes.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time is left on each 
side.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from California has 5\1/2\ 
minutes, and the gentleman from Virginia has 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  I want to acknowledge the fact that Chairman Tom Davis did more as 
the chairman of our committee in doing oversight than any other Chair 
in the House. We did do a lot, but the other committees did not. They 
didn't want to do oversight. It was as if the Republican leadership of 
the House decided that if they did too much oversight, they might find 
embarrassment to this administration.
  Well, it looks like this administration would now like to keep us 
from getting embarrassing information about them because they don't 
like this bill. Oh, we have to give too many reports to Congress; there 
has to be too much transparency; it is burdensome to have to be open 
about these contracts. But the fact of the matter is we are spending an 
incredible amount of money on these outside contracts. And from what we 
have seen, our taxpayers are not being protected from waste, fraud, 
abuse and corruption. Just look at what went on in Iraq. Halliburton 
had contracts for logistical purposes, to restore oil. We were told we 
needed them to get a contract without any competition because they are 
the only ones, this is what we were told in the very beginning when we 
asked why did we get this contract in Iraq with no other competition.

                              {time}  1215

  We were told, Well, they are the only ones who know how to put out 
the oil well fires when we go to war. And so they got a contract 
without competition on a cost-plus basis even though they had a history 
of overcharging the taxpayers. And then later we found out that they 
didn't do anything about putting out oil well fires in the first Gulf 
war; it was Bechtel, not Halliburton. We were told it was civil 
servants who had done it in giving this award to the contractor. But 
then we found out it was the political people who did it.
  Halliburton was given special treatment. Other contractors were given 
special treatment by not having healthy competition. Competition 
benefits the consumer. When the government is the payor, the consumer, 
we are deprived of what market forces can bring. So these contractors 
got no-bid contracts.
  I made a proposal on the House floor when we had one of these 
appropriations bills to say that if any contractor overcharges us $100 
million or more, they ought to be barred from future contracts. The 
chairman at that time of the Armed Services Committee stood up and 
said, We can't have an amendment like this; we haven't even held 
hearings on anybody who has charged us over $100 million.
  Well, why hadn't they held hearings? Why didn't the Armed Services 
Committee hold hearings?
  The fact of the matter is in recent years, we have had an enormous 
outpouring of money spent in Iraq, in homeland security, in dealing 
with Hurricane Katrina, and we have seen the same mistakes over and 
over again: No-competition contracts; cost-plus contracts.
  We have seen what the result has been: Wasted taxpayer dollars. That 
is why this legislation has been put together. It is a bill to require 
that if there is an emergency to give a contract, give it. But then 
have bidding within a year.
  Gasoline prices charged by Halliburton were considered highway 
robbery. Parsons built just a handful, 20 of the 142 health clinics 
they were paid to build. Human sewage leaked out of the roof of a 
police academy.
  In Hurricane Katrina, they subcontracted and subcontracted and 
subcontracted, and finally they paid a guy with a truck to come and 
take away debris. Every markup of every one of those subcontractors was 
passed on to the taxpayers.
  We have had a contract to build a border for our homeland security 
that cost us billions of dollars that didn't work. We had a contract to 
help the Coast Guard get state-of-the-art ships, and they didn't meet 
standards. We need reform in this area.
  If that is called micromanaging when we want transparency, this is 
the type of reform we need. We need something we didn't have before: A 
lot more oversight. We have got to keep people honest.
  I am shocked when I hear conservatives say they care about taxpayers' 
dollars, and then don't want competition. I am shocked when they say 
taxpayers' money is being used wisely, and then we find it is being 
thrown away.
  I urge support for this bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, we fully support 
transparency and accountability in decision-making, but we need to 
remember we are asking for all of these audit reports that are only 
advisory in nature. They are not disposition. These are questioned 
costs, and contracting in a war zone or in an emergency often lacks 
appropriate documentation. But these are allowable costs.
  I think to provide those to Congress not only gives you too much 
information, a lot of it can be misleading and can be misplayed.
  Knowing that the results of an audit will be provided to Congress 
during the negotiation and the resolution process, which is what they 
are asking for, could unduly influence the impact the audit advice may 
have on the contracting officer's administrative determination. This 
inhibits their authority to appropriately and effectively resolve 
contracting issues using all of the relevant information available to 
them. This could also have the unintended effect of increasing the 
number of contract disputes.
  But I know my colleague feels with a passion that we need to move 
ahead and do something of this order. I look forward to working with 
him on legislation on the acquisition workforce which we don't touch in 
this area. This legislation I think falls short of the promise, but I 
appreciate the willingness he has shown to work with us. We will 
address further issues later in our motion to recommit.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN (Mr. Hastings of Florida). The gentleman from 
California has 30 seconds.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, legislation is an organic process. We have 
negotiated with the minority. We have strong bipartisan support for 
this legislation. The bill was referred to the Armed Services 
Committee. They gave us good recommendations which have been adopted 
unanimously by that committee and incorporated into this bill.
  The gentleman from Ohio complained there was another change made. 
There are always changes going on to make

[[Page H2587]]

the bill better. It will get even better as we move it through the 
process. Let's pass the bill and work together. Let's stand up for the 
American taxpayers of this country.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) and 
the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) each will now control 10 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 1362, the Accountability in 
Contracting Act. This bill amends title 10 and 41, United States Code, 
and establishes other new statutory requirements to improve the quality 
of government contracts, increase government contract oversight, and 
promote integrity in contracting.
  The House Armed Services Committee approved this legislation on a 
bipartisan vote of 53-0. Our committee has worked for decades to 
improve the contracting process within the Department of Defense.
  Over this time, the committee has passed numerous bills, including 
both major additions to contract law and focused revisions. We utilized 
the experience gained in these legislative efforts to formulate our 
recommendations in this bill. I am confident that this is a good 
product that will improve contracting and save the taxpayer money.
  Right now, American military forces are deployed throughout the world 
in support of the war on terrorism as well as other military 
operations, including Iraq. These contingency operations have generated 
a number of very large contracts, the Department of Defense has 
expended billions of dollars on support and reconstruction contracts 
that have been awarded, administered and overseen in the most 
challenging of conditions.
  H.R. 1362 would help address these challenges by empowering the heads 
of the military departments and the defense agencies to ensure the 
proper use of a variety of contract types, both competitive and 
noncompetitive, and by empowering Congress to oversee such contracts. 
It also ensures continued faith in the integrity of the procurement 
system.
  I thank my friend and colleague, Chairman Waxman, for introducing 
this legislation and bringing it to the floor today. And I especially 
want to thank my friend and partner on the Armed Services Committee, 
Mr. Hunter, who is the ranking member and the former chairman, for 
working so closely with us on this legislation. I thank him for that.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I have given a fair amount of consideration to this 
bill, H.R. 1362. I have a couple of observations to share with you.
  First, I am very proud of the work that the Armed Services Committee 
has done with respect to this bill to craft what I consider to be a 
better bill. I want to thank the chairman, my good friend from 
Missouri, Mr. Ike Skelton, for making sure that we participated in this 
markup and holding the markup of H.R. 1362.
  I had serious concerns about the original bill as reported out of the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, including a number of 
provisions that, through amending title 10, U.S. Code, and other 
procurement regulations, would have had the effect of preventing the 
Department of Defense from serving warfighter needs in the most 
expeditious manner possible. That is an issue that I spoke to just a 
minute ago in my exchange with Mr. Waxman.
  As my colleagues from the Armed Services Committee know, this 
committee has given a great deal of attention to matters pertaining to 
acquisition reform. This has been especially true during wartime as our 
committee has worked hard to ensure that the brave men and women 
serving our country receive what they need when they need it as they 
deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters of operation.
  At the same time, we have been vigorous advocates for competition and 
cost control measures. I firmly believe that the Armed Services 
Committee is best suited to properly balance the need for improving 
accountability in defense contracting while at the same time ensuring 
that the Department of Defense can carry out its duties to the 
warfighter. I am pleased that the chairman agreed to hold an Armed 
Services Committee markup of this bill. In continuing its rich 
tradition of deliberation and robust oversight of matters within its 
jurisdiction, the committee produced a higher quality piece of 
legislation.
  I supported Chairman Skelton's mark because I believe the mark 
remedied the most serious deficiencies of the base bill and was truly a 
bipartisan measure. The Armed Services Committee mark encouraged 
competition and cost controls while protecting procurement 
flexibilities important to the national interest.
  Secondly, it provided Congress with additional tools for oversight 
and reinforced standards of integrity widely held by the dedicated men 
and women of the defense acquisition workforce.
  But, unfortunately, we are not here today to vote for the Armed 
Services Committee mark. We are not even here to vote for the Committee 
on Oversight Government Reform mark, which leads me to my second set of 
observations.
  We are here today to vote for a piece of legislation that was not 
voted out of any committee. Those who would say this bill received 
unanimous support in two committees would not be telling it as it is. 
The full truth is that the Speaker wanted to put a rush on this bill so 
she could say Congress did something about contract reform. It was 
introduced late one night, and in 24 hours it was being voted out of 
committee. In two more business days a markup was scheduled in the 
Committee on Armed Services. Late that night, additional text was added 
that changed the bill yet again, and I think in a potentially dangerous 
way.
  But no member of Oversight and Government Reform or Armed Services 
got to vote on those changes. Instead, the language simply appeared out 
of nowhere and the rule for H.R. 1362 let the new bill move to the 
floor.
  What would the new language do? It is hard to say because the text is 
subject to broad interpretation, which is precisely what concerns me. 
One thing can safely be said. It is ironic that the original bill would 
have required agencies to hire thousands of additional personnel, but 
at the same time this new language would presume those personnel are 
dishonest and would attempt to restrict their decisionmaking ability or 
their ability to seek further employment.
  I am all for accountability and performance in Federal contracting. I 
am likewise for accountability and performance in the legislative 
branch. Frankly, I am disappointed in the final product of this bill, 
and I am referring to the parts that were put in after we marked up our 
portion of the bill.
  Mr. Chairman, let me go right back to Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Waxman and 
their assertion that somehow we are leaving a period of no oversight, 
and they have brought now oversight to the warfighting process and 
accountability for the contracts that are let pursuant to this war 
against terror. That is absolutely not the truth.
  As anybody knows when you are fighting a war, you need to move 
quickly. I use once again the example of the jammers that we got out 
the door under a new waiver strategy where you waive all acquisition 
regulations. You go in and build something that the troops need 
immediately on the battlefield. You don't give a 6-month appeal to the 
folks that lose the competition. You don't give small business set-
asides because there is one thing you don't have, you don't have time.
  When we have troops that are experiencing bombs on the battlefield 
that are detonated remotely, you have to move quickly to get the 
jammers that will jam that electronic device. When you have new 
explosives that are penetrating your Humvees, you have to get steel on 
the sides of those Humvees quickly.

                              {time}  1230

  When you are moving a military force down the road and you have to 
get fuel to that force, whether it is in movement or in base, you have 
to move quickly. You cannot have 6-month appeal periods. You cannot 
have buyers'

[[Page H2588]]

forums that take months to set up. You have to move quickly.
  Now, when you have time, you want to absolutely have competition, and 
I can just tell my colleagues that that is always in my interest to 
have competition, get the best buy for the buck, and we have had a 
number of forums incidentally. We introduced the Challenge Program 
where any company that could come in and say, I could make a better 
tire for the Humvee than the incumbent, or I can make a better 
windshield or a better engine, that guy or lady has got the right to go 
in and challenge the incumbent company that has the present contract 
and show how they can do it cheaper or make something that has better 
warfighting capability. We introduced that legislation. That is called 
the Challenge Legislation.
  But let us not mix that up with this idea that somehow you can have 
competition on every single aspect of the battlefield, and when you 
need a new jammer to stop roadside bombs, you go out and you start a 
month-long search, and then you have a 6-month competition, and then 
after the award you have a 6-month appeal, and by that time you are 
ready for the next war. You are not even relevant to the situation that 
is hurting your young men and women on the battlefield right now.
  So there is some good substance in this bill, and I like it, but 
there is a lot of rhetoric. There is a lot of worthless, political 
rhetoric that preceded this bill, and I hope that the American people 
will not be snagged by that one. There are times that you have to move 
quickly.
  I am reminded of one contractor that came back. One of the 
contractors who was not one of the 389 who has been killed in this war, 
and he showed me a picture of a crater, of a mortar crater. He said, 
That is where I was standing 5 minutes before that mortar landed. He 
said, I do not care how much you award this contract for, I am not 
going back to that dangerous AO.
  Let me tell you, there are a lot of people who do go back time and 
time again. They are good Americans. They are honest Americans, and 
they are the same folks carrying out the contracting and administering 
the support of our Armed Forces who were there 6 months ago. The idea 
that somehow they have been crooked up to now, that now they are going 
to be straightened out by Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Waxman is absolutely 
outrageous.
  So having said those gentle words, I look forward to the continued 
discussion. Mr. Waxman has taken the floor. I would be happy to yield 
to Mr. Waxman if he has got a rejoinder.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, well, I do. I am surprised you are taking 
the position you are taking in trying to make it personal but----
  Mr. HUNTER. Let me just take my time back. I am not making it 
personal. Mr. Waxman made a statement, I am talking. Mr. Waxman, I will 
let you respond to this. We are not making it personal.
  What I am telling you is that there are exigencies in the 
battlefield, and you got this from your own leadership, gentlemen like 
Mr. Murtha who said you cannot have these long delays in awarding 
contracts and have this vigorous oversight period; you cannot have that 
hold up a battlefield situation. You do have to award sole-source 
contracts, and you have to award them to people who can move very 
quickly and get things done. That is my point.
  The idea that we are supposed to stop that or that we have not 
exercised any oversight is simply not accurate. There is no personal 
animosity toward you as a fine Member of this body, but those 
statements are not accurate, and I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. WAXMAN. I think the gentleman is misinformed about what is in the 
legislation because we do permit under exigent circumstances a no-bid 
contract to be awarded. We understand there are times that there are 
emergencies, but we ask that after a year that the contract be put out 
to bid, that there be competition at least after a year. I see nothing 
wrong with that. It makes a lot of common sense to me, and you are 
arguing that we are not responding to the emergency situation when we 
do.
  Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will allow me to say this, I think that 
that is a good provision. In fact, we supported that provision in the 
Armed Services markup.
  Let me tell you a provision I do not support, and maybe you can help 
us with this. You refer in the revolving door that says that a person 
cannot take a job with a company in which he has administered----
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman's time has expired.
  Mr. HUNTER. Would the gentleman allow me to have a minute of his time 
so I can just offer this one point?
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I will be glad to yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman.
  Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Waxman, the two provisions 
that were put in after the markup, the one that talks about a person 
who participates in a meeting as a senior staff, that means if a person 
walks in a room and if they are involved in a discussion, they could be 
subjected to massive civil penalties at a later time if there is a 
contract awarded.
  I would simply say that I think in areas where you have civil 
penalties you have to have great clarity, and I have not seen a 
definition of ``senior staff'' or ``senior participants'' in DOD, and I 
think that that is a real problem. I think it is a problem of vagueness 
and one that could keep people from entering the civil service in this 
role and in this capacity.
  Mr. WAXMAN. What this provision provides is if somebody is personally 
and substantially involved in that contract, they should not be then 
going out and working for the contractor. I just think that is 
improper. There ought to at least be a cooling-off period. We do not 
think they can never go work.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chairman, let me just rejoin to that. We have looked 
up ``personally'' and ``substantially.'' That could involve standing 
there in a room and giving advice. So that can be just a person giving 
advice which could expose them to a $50,000 civil penalty, from what I 
have seen.
  I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I first wish to thank the gentleman from California and all the 
members of the Armed Services Committee that worked on this legislation 
that recommended its passage by a 53-0 vote, and I was very pleased and 
proud of that. Of course, it was changed to about 1 percent as opposed 
to 99 percent that we approved in our committee.
  The change merely clarifies the application of post-employment 
restrictions to senior level officials who are involved with 
procurement. It is a minor change. The language was shared with the 
minority well before the bill went to the Rules Committee for its rule 
on bringing it to the floor today. So I think that the change made 
post-Rules Committee effectually was minimal, or as they say in the 
law, de minimus; and I am sorry that there is a question that has 
arisen to that effect.
  This bill does not affect the rapid acquisition authority that the 
Armed Services Committee did approve. It allows, as the gentleman from 
California mentioned, 1 year for emergency contracts, and it can go 
longer if the agency head so determines that it is needed.
  I wish that this bill, as it is before us, could receive a unanimous 
vote on the floor because of what it does. It is clear. It helps the 
procurement process. It brings it home to every American that we are on 
top of the matter and that oversight is happening, and it is a 
clarification of a law that is actually overdue and well deserved.
  I applaud all those who worked on it. I am going to thank the 
gentleman from California for his work on the Committee on Armed 
Services and all of those, Democrats, Republicans, who did approve it 
and thank the chairman, Mr. Waxman, for his hard efforts in bringing 
this to the floor.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Waxman).
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for yielding to me.
  I just want to point out that I think my good friend from my same 
State, former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, now the ranking 
member, protesteth too much.
  He complained that they have to award a contract right away and that 
this bill would prevent it. Well, we

[[Page H2589]]

have already pointed out that that is not the case at all. A contract 
can be awarded on an emergency basis; but after a year, there ought to 
be competition. He thought that sounded good once we explained it to 
him on the floor.
  Then he said, well, there is another provision that he dislikes and 
that is the fact that somebody who awards a contract cannot go to work 
for the contractor. Well, that provision was narrowed, and it was 
narrowed to say it had to be a senior person, and it also had to be 
someone who was personally and substantially involved in awarding the 
contract.
  Now, a lot of these contracts are determined by political appointees. 
For example, we learned that the Halliburton no-bid contract to restore 
oil in Iraq was signed by the contracting civil servant, but the 
decision was made by a political appointee. The gentleman's name is 
Michael Mobbs. He decided that Halliburton ought to get that contract 
and that there should not be competition. He even went before a 
committee of principals, including Scooter Libby representing the Vice 
President, and suggested to them this is the way the contract ought to 
be awarded, and the contract was awarded. He argued that it needed to 
be awarded at that time to that contractor, they would do the job.
  Should he be allowed to go within a year and go sign up as an 
employee for Halliburton? I do not think he should be permitted. All we 
say is there ought to be a cooling-off period. We do not say he never 
could go work for Halliburton, but I think it is unseemly to have him 
go right from that position to go work for Halliburton.
  Now, I must say from those who tell us everything is going great in 
Iraq, they are also telling us today on the House floor everything has 
gone well with contractors in Iraq. I must submit that things have not 
gone well, unless you do not mind hundreds of billions of dollars in 
questioned costs, in overcharging by a contractor to bring in gasoline 
from Kuwait, having a contractor charge for $45 for Cokes or $50 for 
laundry, obscene kind of expenditures. Things have not gone well. That 
is why we need more oversight, and that is why we need this important 
reform legislation.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remaining time.
  I thank the gentleman from California; and, again, I certainly hope 
we could get a strong bipartisan vote for this bill. It does good 
things. It clarifies the law and makes sure that the American taxpayer 
is more protected regarding contracts. It is fair. It is equitable. It 
is easy to understand.
  All you have to do is read the King's English and follow the law, and 
it will help clarify so much of the problems that have arisen in recent 
years regarding contracting.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, as a cosponsor of H.R. 400, introduced by 
my colleague from Hawaii, the Honorable Neil Abercrombie, which seeks 
to prohibit war profiteering, I support H.R. 1362 which champions the 
same goals.
  At a time of war, when the lives of Americans are put at risk, when 
the limited resources of the Nation are being expended and when 
programs serving millions of Americans are being cut back, no 
corporation or person should ever be allowed to misuse, waste or 
misappropriate Federal tax dollars. Unfortunately, due to 
mismanagement, incompetence and sweetheart deals, and lack of 
oversight, certain U.S. corporations and their subsidiaries apparently 
have blatantly over-charged government agencies, engaged in wasteful 
practices and committed allegedly fraudulent acts that have resulted in 
the virtual disappearance of billions of dollars.
  Examples of American corporations padding expenses then charging an 
administrative fee on top of the overpriced goods and services have 
been well-documented. Documentaries such as ``Iraq for Sale'' chronicle 
a chilling story of unchecked waste, demoralization of our troops from 
shoddy services provided by contractors and shameless acts of corporate 
misconduct.
  It is shocking that, in some cases, it's all legal. Without 
reasonable restrictions on contractor spending and practices on no-bid 
and cost-plus contracts and lack of enforcement of existing law, there 
is no incentive to provide goods and services to the government at the 
least cost and with the greatest efficiency. Indeed, the current 
practices foster and encourage waste and corruption, as the dismal 
track record in Iraq of defense contractors demonstrate. Just one 
corporation, Halliburton, has disputed charges amounting to over a 
billion dollars.
  This bill minimizes the use of no-bid contracts, promote the use of 
cost effective fixed-price contracts and limit the duration of no-bid 
contracts, which must be awarded under emergency conditions, to one 
year. This bill allows the awarding of no-bid contracts which cannot be 
delayed but require re-bidding when the emergency has elapsed. Public 
disclosure of the reasons for using no-bid contracts and overcharging 
will promote transparency and expose improper contracting practices. 
Fixed price, rather than open-ended cost-plus, contracts will encourage 
efficiency and minimize unrestricted spending by contractors.
  H.R. 1362 will go a long way to curb unchecked abuse and 
overcharging, slipshod accounting practices and lack of accountability. 
It will give government procurement managers the authority to control 
wasteful and fraudulent contractor practices, as well as be governed by 
stricter ethical guidelines to regulate the procurement managers' own 
behavior.
  Until now, there has been no effective congressional oversight since 
the war began and no effective laws to rein in wasteful, corrupt and, 
in fact, unpatriotic behavior. Billions have been lost in this war, 
while critical programs in education, health, environment, alternate 
energy and other domestic needs have been unnecessarily slashed.
  This legislation will help correct this unacceptable situation. I 
commend Chairman Waxman and the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform for this important improvement in our Federal contracting laws.
  Mr. CARDOZA. Mr. Chairman, I support this legislation, and believe 
that it will improve accountability in Federal contracting and increase 
the amount of information provided to the public and to Congress about 
Federal contracts. However, I believe that more needs to be done.
  I am particularly concerned about overuse of exemption four of the 
Freedom of Information Act--the exemption that protects trade secrets 
and business confidential information. Too often, this exemption is 
used to withhold information about Federal contracts that should be 
made public.
  With minimal exceptions for proprietary information, the public 
should have access to information submitted to the Federal Government 
in application for Federal contracts. And agencies should release 
information to the public regarding questionable performance of Federal 
contractors. The public should be able to easily access through FOIA 
information relating to whether a contractor actually performed the 
work required under the terms of the contract as well as information 
that indicates the use of substandard materials or work practices in 
performing the contract.
  Waste, fraud, and abuse in contracting is all to common. Contractors 
should not be able to hide behind a FOIA exemption in order to keep 
their poor performance out of the public eye.
  I have spoken to Chairman Waxman and he has pledged to jointly 
request that GAO conduct an examination of this issue and clarify what 
legitimately qualifies as an exemption for confidential business 
information. I appreciate Mr. Waxman's interest in this issue and look 
forward to working with him.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I understand that my colleague, 
Representative Cardoza has concerns about the use of the confidential 
business information exemption within the Freedom of Information Act to 
withhold information about Federal contracts from the public. I 
understand Mr. Cardoza's concern and want to work with him to ensure 
that the public has access to this type of information under FOIA. 
Yesterday, the House approved legislation that will strengthen FOIA and 
ensure that agencies apply a presumption of disclosure when considering 
requests. I believe that yesterday's bill, along with the bill we are 
considering today, are steps in the right direction. But, neither bill 
directly addresses my colleague's concerns related to overuse of FOIA's 
exemption four.
  I have an ongoing interest in strengthening the Freedom of 
Information Act and certainly want to work together with Mr. Cardoza to 
accomplish his important goal of ensuring public access to information 
about federal contractor performance.
  I have agreed to work with Mr. Cardoza to request that GAO conduct an 
examination of agency use of exemption four. A report from GAO could 
clarify what is currently being withheld from the public under this 
exemption, and how much of that information is actually a trade secret 
or is truly confidential. This report will inform us as we move 
forward.
  Mr. ORTIZ. Mr. Chairman, a government of the people only works when 
transparency and accountability are the watchwords of the day. This is 
vital when it comes to contracting. Democracy suffers when our 
government spends taxpayer money on contracts that can include fraud, 
waste, and abuse.
  Nowhere is this more apparent than in defense-related contracts that 
are single-sourced

[[Page H2590]]

and rarely overseen. Our troops don't have the equipment they need in 
the field; and taxpayers are losing billions in fraud and abuse in 
contracts.
  The bill before us today ends waste in Federal contracting, by 
reducing the use of no-bid contracts, mandating disclosure of no-bid 
contracts and contract overcharges, and closing the revolving door 
between government procurement officials and private contractors. The 
wasted money would be far better used to improve readiness needs--
currently in deep crisis.
  We have to reconstruct our military that has been decimated by the 
Iraq war. A good beginning to that long and difficult task is providing 
open competition in contracting in order to provide the best services 
for our military in both wars.
  Congress has exposed a pattern of reckless spending, poor planning, 
and ineffective oversight in contracting that has resulted in the waste 
of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in no-bid contracts for 
Halliburton and for contracts for Hurricane Katrina.
  This legislation builds on the progress we are making to return to 
the basic principles of fiscal responsibility and to restore Congress's 
role as a check and balance to the Executive Branch, particularly on 
training and equipping of our troops, in order to make this government 
more accountable to the American people.
  Specifically, the legislation would change Federal acquisition law to 
require agencies to limit the use of emergency no-bid contracts and to 
increase transparency and accountability in Federal contracting in an 
effort to protect the taxpayers' money. To restore accountability in 
the Federal contracting process, the bill would instruct agencies to 
minimize the use of no-bid contracts, promote the use of cost-effective 
fixed-price contracts, and limit the duration of no-bid contracts 
awarded in emergencies to one year.
  It also promotes transparency by requiring public disclosure of the 
rationale for using no-bid contracts, and requiring agencies to report 
to Congress on overcharges in contracts. To improve the integrity in 
contracting, the bill closes the revolving door between government 
procurement officials and private contractors.
  Spending on no-bid contracts has more than doubled under the Bush 
Administration with a 75 percent increase in spending on contracts that 
reward companies for every taxpayer dollar spent, not saved with more 
than $2.4 billion squandered on no-bid contracts for Halliburton in 
Iraq, with another or the other $23 billion for other abuse-prone 
contracts. That money lost to fraud and abuse would have gone a long 
way in equipping our troops in the field.
  Mr. Chairman, our military readiness is in crisis in no small measure 
due to the waste, fraud and abuse that is inherent in how this 
government has awarded contracts in Iraq and elsewhere. I ask the House 
to join me in supporting this important legislation.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1362, 
the Accountability in Contracting Act. With the alarming increase of 
no-bid contracts and cost-plus contracts under this administration, I 
am very gratified to see the Democratic majority bring this bill up for 
a vote so that we can put an end to these scurrilous practices.
  The United States government has paid hundreds of millions of dollars 
in the past few years to contractors that did not even have to submit a 
bid for the work it wanted to conduct. So much for good old fashioned 
American competition! In addition, there have been very few penalties 
for the contractors when this work went far over budget and Federal 
dollars were misused such as in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. 
American taxpayers have had to pick up the tab for these cost overruns, 
and they have been on the hook for millions and millions of dollars.
  Mr. Chairman, in this week devoted to oversight legislation, this is 
a necessary bill to protect the taxpayers of this Nation from paying 
too much for too little work. This bill will reduce the number of no-
bid contracts and strictly control cost overruns. Further, new rules 
will be promulgated for disclosing contractor overcharges.
  The Accountability in Contracting Act is long overdue, and I thank 
the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and Chairman Waxman for bringing this 
bill up for a vote.
  Mr. ARCURI. Mr. Chairman, it is time to rein in this administration's 
prevalent use of no-bid contracts. I urge all my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to support this rule and the Accountability in 
Contracting Act.
  In the last five years, spending on ``no-bid'' or ``sole-source'' 
contracts has more than doubled. The administration contends that in 
every one of these cases there were ``urgent and compelling needs'' 
that required these contracts to be awarded without a competitive 
bidding process. In the case of the emergency response to disasters 
like hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I don't dispute that the need was 
urgent, but for non-emergency contracting needs, we must get our fiscal 
house in order.
  Just as any family has a budget to stick to, shouldn't we reach a 
point after an emergency when there has been enough time to consider 
multiple, competitive bids? A point after which the ``compelling 
needs'' are a little less urgent? By last June--nine months after 
Hurricane Katrina--$10.6 billion had been awarded to private 
contractors for recovery efforts, but only 30 percent of that had been 
awarded competitively.
  I know of no small business in Upstate New York, who could get by 
without reasonably budgeting for their expenses--even in times of 
emergency. Why should taxpayer dollars be spent differently?
  Oversight of these contracts has been no better. Audits have revealed 
that post-Katrina contractors have over-billed, double-billed, and 
billed for work that was never completed. The Defense Contractor Audit 
Agency found that through fiscal year 2006, over $10 billion in 
contractor charges in Iraq have been identified as ``questioned'' or 
``unsupported.''
  Under this administration, the use of ``cost plus'' contracts has 
increased more than seventy-five percent. These cost-plus contracts 
guarantee a contractor a fixed profit, regardless of how efficiently 
they spend the government's money--taxpayers' money. These contracts 
provide no incentive to look after the bottom line because they 
guarantee there will always be money off the top. When indefinite, no-
bid contracts contain ``cost-plus'' provisions, the opportunity for 
foul play is only amplified.
  The Accountability in Contracting Act addresses these concerns. This 
bill limits to roughly 8 months the time that federal no-bid contracts 
can last. It requires each federal agency that has awarded at least $1 
billion in the preceding fiscal year to develop and implement a plan to 
minimize the use of contracts entered into using no-bid procedures and 
cost-reimbursement type contracts. The bill also establishes a system 
to increase competition in contract bidding and requires agencies that 
enter into a no-bid contract to make ``justification and approval'' 
documents public within fourteen days after awarding a contract.
  Mr. Chairman, we have a responsibility to the American people to 
spend their hard-earned tax dollars in a fiscally responsible way. And 
the Accountability in Contracting Act will help reach that end by 
providing much-needed transparency to the way the federal government 
awards contracts.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. All time for general debate has expired.
  In lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform and the Committee on Armed Services printed in 
the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the 
purpose of amendment under the 5-minute rule an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute printed in part A of House Report 110-49. That 
amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the 
     ``Accountability in Contracting Act''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

              TITLE I--IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF CONTRACTS

Sec. 101. Limitation on length of noncompetitive contracts.
Sec. 102. Minimizing sole-source contracts.
Sec. 103. Maximizing fixed-price procurement contracts.

                TITLE II--INCREASING CONTRACT OVERSIGHT

Sec. 201. Public disclosure of justification and approval documents for 
              noncompetitive contracts.
Sec. 202. Disclosure of Government contractor audit findings.
Sec. 203. Study of acquisition workforce.
Sec. 204. Repeal of sunset of training fund.

             TITLE III--PROMOTING INTEGRITY IN CONTRACTING

Sec. 301. Additional provisions relating to procurement officials.

              TITLE I--IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF CONTRACTS

     SEC. 101. LIMITATION ON LENGTH OF NONCOMPETITIVE CONTRACTS.

       (a) Revision of FAR.--Not later than one year after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition 
     Regulation shall be revised to restrict the contract period 
     of any contract described in subsection (c) to the minimum 
     contract period necessary--
       (1) to meet the urgent and compelling requirements of the 
     work to be performed under the contract; and
       (2) to enter into another contract for the required goods 
     or services through the use of competitive procedures.

[[Page H2591]]

       (b) Contract Period.--The regulations promulgated under 
     subsection (a) shall require the contract period to not 
     exceed one year, unless the head of the executive agency 
     concerned determines that the Government would be seriously 
     injured by the limitation on the contract period.
       (c) Covered Contracts.--This section applies to any 
     contract in an amount greater than $1,000,000 entered into by 
     an executive agency using procedures other than competitive 
     procedures pursuant to the exception provided in section 
     303(c)(2) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services 
     Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253(c)(2)) or section 2304(c)(2) of 
     title 10, United States Code.
       (d) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) The term ``executive agency'' has the meaning provided 
     in section 4(1) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy 
     Act (41 U.S.C. 403(1)).
       (2) The term ``head of the executive agency'' means the 
     head of an executive agency except that, in the case of the 
     Department of Defense, the term means--
       (A) in the case of a military department, the Secretary of 
     the military department;
       (B) in the case of a Defense Agency, the head of the 
     Defense Agency; and
       (C) in the case of any part of the Department of Defense 
     other than a military department or Defense Agency, the Under 
     Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and 
     Logistics.

     SEC. 102. MINIMIZING SOLE-SOURCE CONTRACTS.

       (a) Plans Required.--Subject to subsection (c), the head of 
     each executive agency covered by title III of the Federal 
     Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 
     251 et seq.) or, in the case of the Department of Defense, 
     the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
     and Logistics, shall develop and implement a plan to 
     minimize, to the maximum extent practicable, the use of 
     contracts entered into using procedures other than 
     competitive procedures by the agency or department concerned. 
     The plan shall contain measurable goals and shall be 
     completed and submitted to the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform of the House of Representatives, the 
     Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of 
     the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations of the House 
     of Representatives and the Senate and, in the case of the 
     Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, the 
     Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of 
     Representatives, with a copy provided to the Comptroller 
     General, not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.
       (b) Comptroller General Review.--The Comptroller General 
     shall review the plans provided under subsection (a) and 
     submit a report to Congress on the plans not later than 18 
     months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (c) Requirement Limited to Certain Agencies.--The 
     requirement of subsection (a) shall apply only to those 
     agencies that awarded contracts in a total amount of at least 
     $1,000,000,000 in the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year 
     in which the report is submitted.
       (d) Certain Contracts Excluded.--The following contracts 
     shall not be included in the plans developed and implemented 
     under subsection (a):
       (1) Contracts entered into under section 8(a) of the Small 
     Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)), in amounts less than the 
     amounts listed in paragraph (1)(D)(i)(II) of that section.
       (2) Contracts entered into under section 31 (15 U.S.C. 
     657a) of such Act, in amounts less than the amounts listed in 
     subsection (b)(2)(A)(ii) of that section.
       (3) Contracts entered into under section 36 of such Act (15 
     U.S.C. 657f), in amounts less than the amounts listed in 
     subsection (a)(2) of that section.

     SEC. 103. MAXIMIZING FIXED-PRICE PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS.

       (a) Plans Required.--Subject to subsection (c), the head of 
     each executive agency covered by title III of the Federal 
     Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 
     251 et seq.) or, in the case of the Department of Defense, 
     the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
     and Logistics, shall develop and implement a plan to 
     maximize, to the fullest extent practicable, the use of 
     fixed-price type contracts for the procurement of goods and 
     services by the agency or department concerned. The plan 
     shall contain measurable goals and shall be completed and 
     submitted to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 
     of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the 
     Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives 
     and the Senate and, in the case of the Department of Defense 
     and the Department of Energy, the Committees on Armed 
     Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with 
     a copy provided to the Comptroller General, not later than 1 
     year after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (b) Comptroller General Review.--The Comptroller General 
     shall review the plans provided under subsection (a) and 
     submit a report to Congress on the plans not later than 18 
     months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (c) Requirement Limited to Certain Agencies.--The 
     requirement of subsection (a) shall apply only to those 
     agencies that awarded contracts in a total amount of at least 
     $1,000,000,000 in the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year 
     in which the report is submitted.

                TITLE II--INCREASING CONTRACT OVERSIGHT

     SEC. 201. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF JUSTIFICATION AND APPROVAL 
                   DOCUMENTS FOR NONCOMPETITIVE CONTRACTS.

       (a) Civilian Agency Contracts.--
       (1) In general.--Section 303 of the Federal Property and 
     Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(j)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the 
     case of a procurement permitted by subsection (c), the head 
     of an executive agency shall make publicly available, within 
     14 days after the award of the contract, the documents 
     containing the justification and approval required by 
     subsection (f)(1) with respect to the procurement.
       ``(B) In the case of a procurement permitted by subsection 
     (c)(2), subparagraph (A) shall be applied by substituting `30 
     days' for `14 days'.
       ``(2) The documents shall be made available on the website 
     of the agency and through the Federal Procurement Data 
     System.
       ``(3) This subsection does not require the public 
     availability of information that is exempt from public 
     disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, United States 
     Code.''.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 303(f) of such Act is 
     amended--
       (A) by striking paragraph (4); and
       (B) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (4).
       (b) Defense Agency Contracts.--
       (1) In general.--Section 2304 of title 10, United States 
     Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     subsection:
       ``(l)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the 
     case of a procurement permitted by subsection (c), the head 
     of an agency shall make publicly available, within 14 days 
     after the award of the contract, the documents containing the 
     justification and approval required by subsection (f)(1) with 
     respect to the procurement.
       ``(B) In the case of a procurement permitted by subsection 
     (c)(2), subparagraph (A) shall be applied by substituting `30 
     days' for `14 days'.
       ``(2) The documents shall be made available on the website 
     of the agency and through the Federal Procurement Data 
     System.
       ``(3) This subsection does not require the public 
     availability of information that is exempt from public 
     disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5.''.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 2304(f) of such title is 
     amended--
       (A) by striking paragraph (4); and
       (B) by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs 
     (4) and (5), respectively.

     SEC. 202. DISCLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR AUDIT FINDINGS.

       (a) Quarterly Report to Congress.--
       (1) The head of each Federal agency or department or, in 
     the case of the Department of Defense, the Under Secretary of 
     Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, shall 
     submit to the chairman and ranking member of each committee 
     specified in paragraph (2) on a quarterly basis a report that 
     includes the following:
       (A) A list of completed audits performed by such agency or 
     department issued during the applicable quarter that describe 
     contractor costs in excess of $10,000,000 that have been 
     identified as unjustified, unsupported, questioned, or 
     unreasonable under any contract, task or delivery order, or 
     subcontract.
       (B) The specific amounts of costs identified as 
     unjustified, unsupported, questioned, or unreasonable and the 
     percentage of their total value of the contract, task or 
     delivery order, or subcontract.
       (C) A list of completed audits performed by such agency or 
     department issued during the applicable quarter that identify 
     material deficiencies in the performance of any contractor or 
     in any business system of any contractor under any contract, 
     task or delivery order, or subcontract.
       (2) The report described in paragraph (1) shall be 
     submitted to--
       (A) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 
     House of Representatives;
       (B) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs of the Senate;
       (C) the Committees on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate;
       (D) in the case of reports from the Department of Defense 
     or the Department of Energy, the Committees on Armed Services 
     of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and
       (E) the committees of primary jurisdiction over the agency 
     or department submitting the report.
       (3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an agency or 
     department with respect to a calendar quarter if no audits 
     described in paragraph (1) were issued during that quarter.
       (b) Submission of Individual Audits.--
       (1) The head of each Federal agency or department shall 
     provide, within 14 days after a request in writing by the 
     chairman or ranking member of any committee listed in 
     paragraph (2), a full and unredacted copy of any audit 
     described in subsection (a)(1). Such copy shall include an 
     identification of information in the audit exempt from public 
     disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, United States 
     Code.
       (2) The committees listed in this paragraph are the 
     following:

[[Page H2592]]

       (A) The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 
     House of Representatives.
       (B) The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs of the Senate.
       (C) The Committees on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate.
       (D) In the case of the Department of Defense or the 
     Department of Energy, the Committees on Armed Services of the 
     Senate and House of Representatives.
       (E) The committees of primary jurisdiction over the agency 
     or department to which the request is made.

     SEC. 203. STUDY OF ACQUISITION WORKFORCE.

       (a) Requirement for Study.--The Administrator for Federal 
     Procurement Policy shall conduct a study of the composition, 
     scope, and functions of the Government-wide acquisition 
     workforce and develop a comprehensive definition of, and 
     method of measuring the size of, such workforce.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the 
     relevant congressional committees a report on the results of 
     the study required by subsection (a), with such findings and 
     recommendations as the Administrator determines appropriate.

     SEC. 204. REPEAL OF SUNSET OF TRAINING FUND.

       Subparagraph (H) of section 37(h)(3) of the Office of 
     Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 433(h)(3)) is 
     repealed.

             TITLE III--PROMOTING INTEGRITY IN CONTRACTING

     SEC. 301. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO PROCUREMENT 
                   OFFICIALS.

       (a) Elimination of Loopholes That Allow Former Federal 
     Officials to Accept Compensation From Contractors or Related 
     Entities.--Section 27(d) of the Office of Federal Procurement 
     Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 423(d)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)--
       (A) by striking ``or consultant'' and inserting 
     ``consultant, lawyer, or lobbyist''; and
       (B) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``Federal agency--'' 
     and inserting ``Federal agency or participated personally and 
     substantially at a senior personnel level in--''
       (2) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
       ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a former official of 
     a Federal agency from accepting compensation from any 
     division or affiliate of a contractor that does not produce 
     the same or similar products or services as the entity of the 
     contractor that is responsible for the contract referred to 
     in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of such paragraph if the 
     agency's designated ethics officer determines that the former 
     official's acceptance of compensation would not damage public 
     confidence in the integrity of the procurement process.''.
       (b) Requirement for Federal Procurement Officers to 
     Disclose Job Offers Made on Behalf of Relatives.--Section 
     27(c)(1) of such Act (41 U.S.C. 423(c)(1)) is amended by 
     inserting after ``that official'' the following: ``or for a 
     relative of that official (as defined in section 3110 of 
     title 5, United States Code)''.
       (c) Requirement on Award of Government Contracts to Former 
     Employers.--Section 27 of such Act (41 U.S.C. 423) is amended 
     by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(i) Prohibition on Involvement by Certain Former 
     Contractor Employees in Procurements.--An employee of the 
     Federal Government who is a former employee of a contractor 
     with the Federal Government shall not be personally and 
     substantially involved with any award of a contract to the 
     employee's former employer, or in the administration of such 
     contract at a senior personnel level, for the one-year period 
     beginning on the date on which the employee leaves the 
     employment of the contractor unless the employee has received 
     a waiver from the agency's designated ethics officer. In 
     determining whether to issue a waiver, the designated ethics 
     officer shall take into account the agency's need for the 
     involvement of the employee and the impact a waiver would 
     have on public confidence in the integrity of the procurement 
     process.''.
       (d) Regulations.--Section 27 of such Act (41 U.S.C. 423) is 
     further amended by adding at the end the following new 
     subsection:
       ``(j) Regulations.--The Administrator, in consultation with 
     the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, shall--
       ``(1) promulgate regulations to carry out and ensure the 
     enforcement of this section; and
       ``(2) monitor and investigate individual and agency 
     compliance with this section.''.
       (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
     shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. No amendment to that amendment shall be in order 
except those printed in part B of the report. Each amendment may be 
offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by 
a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, debatable 
for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by 
the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and 
shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


             Part B Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Matheson

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 
printed in House Report 110-49.
  Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Part B amendment No. 1 offered by Mr. Matheson:
       At the end of title II, add the following new section:

     SEC. 2__. NOTICE TO CONGRESS OF NONCOMPETITIVE CONTRACTS 
                   AWARDED TO FOREIGN-OWNED COMPANIES IN COUNTRIES 
                   SPONSORING TERRORISM.

       (a) Notice to Congress Required.--If a contract is expected 
     to be awarded by a department or agency of the Federal 
     Government without the use of competitive procedures to a 
     foreign-owned company that is based or has majority 
     operations in a country described in subsection (b), the 
     department or agency shall notify the appropriate 
     congressional committees at least 30 days before awarding the 
     contract, for purposes of providing Congress time to review 
     the proposed contract and provide comments to the department 
     or agency.
       (b) Foreign Countries Described.--A country described in 
     this subsection is a country the government of which the 
     Secretary of State has determined, for purposes of section 
     6(j) of Export Administration Act of 1979, section 620A of 
     the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, section 40 of the Arms 
     Export Control Act, or any other provision of law, is a 
     government that has repeatedly provided support for acts of 
     international terrorism.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 242, the gentleman 
from Utah (Mr. Matheson) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom 
Davis) each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from Utah.

                              {time}  1245

  Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, first of all I do want to commend 
Chairman Waxman and the Oversight and Government Reform committee for 
all the work that they have done this week.
  The four accountability bills that the House has already considered 
this week are an important step that Congress should take in order to 
keep a promise to the American people. A government of the people and 
by the people should do everything to ensure transparency in Federal 
Government contracting.
  That is why I rise today to offer an amendment to H.R. 1362, the 
Accountability in Contracting Act. I believe that the public deserves a 
great level of accountability and transparency in sole source 
contracting.
  Now, over the past several years, there has been a great deal of 
controversy regarding this type of contract. As a businessman, before I 
came to Congress and as a supporter of business, I believe that there 
are, indeed, legitimate reasons for this type of contract to be issued. 
However, I also believe that we need checkpoints in place at times.
  My amendment anticipates a limited set of circumstances that call for 
additional scrutiny. It would simply provide Congress with prior notice 
of any sole source contract expected to be awarded to a foreign-owned 
company that is based in or has majority operations in a country known 
to sponsor terrorist activity.
  The amendment is intended to allow Congress to review and comment on 
the proposed contract. As someone who has spent his life in the 
business world before coming to Congress, I think there are important 
reasons why Congress should be looking at sole source contracting 
beyond just the business perspective.
  My amendment would provide 30 days for the appropriate congressional 
oversight committees to review this type of contract under the 
circumstances I have described. Now, this is not an overly long period 
of time, but it is still a sufficient amount of time for Congress to 
take a look at major contracts and offer a different perspective, if 
necessary.
  I think it's important that we take a step in the right direction to 
attempt to address this issue in advance, instead of being put in the 
position of reacting after the fact, if this circumstance were to 
present itself.
  Now, I would also stress this amendment is about good government and 
making sure that U.S. tax dollars aren't inadvertently benefiting 
countries that sponsor or harbor terrorists. My amendment is not about 
singling out any specific business or any specific country. This is 
about having the

[[Page H2593]]

best possible process and checkpoints in place to provide for 
transparency in government.
  It's clear the public has demanded accountability from Congress and 
from the Federal Government, which they should demand. This bill is a 
great vehicle for achieving that goal.
  We have an opportunity to shine a bright light on contracting 
procedures in the underlying bill, and I believe that my amendment 
provides an added layer of appropriate congressional review in, as I 
described earlier, a rather limited set of potential circumstances in 
the future.
  Again, I want to commend the committee. I want to commend Chairman 
Waxman and also Ranking Member Davis for their efforts in this bill, 
also Chairman Skelton and Ranking Member Hunter for his efforts in 
pursuing this bill as well.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the 
offeror of the amendment just a clarification question before I yield.
  For a company to have to disclose under this, it would be a foreign-
owned company, I understand, that is based or has majority operations 
in a country described in subsection D. Any idea who that would apply 
to? I am just trying to figure out.
  Mr. MATHESON. Could you repeat the last half of the question?
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I am trying to figure out what companies 
this would apply to.
  Mr. MATHESON. First of all, I did not, as I said, I am not singling 
out any particular company at all.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. A foreign-owned company could be, if it is 
on the American Stock Exchange, that probably would not make it a 
foreign-owned company in all likelihood?
  Mr. MATHESON. If a company has significant foreign operations in a 
country, that would be what the legislation is indicating.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).
  Mr. WAXMAN. I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Mr. Chairman, as I understand the gentleman from Utah's amendment, it 
would require a Federal agency that expects to award a sole source 
contract to a foreign company based in a country known to sponsor 
terrorist activity to notify Congress 30 days prior to the award of 
that contract. This seems to me to be a good idea.
  Congress should know if no-bid contracts are going to countries that 
sponsor terrorism. So I support the amendment. I think it makes a lot 
of sense. What Congress does after they get this information will 
remain to be seen.
  There may be some justification for it, but I would certainly want to 
know, as this Member of Congress, speaking on my own behalf, and I 
think others would feel the same way if such a sole source contract was 
going to be awarded.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter).
  Mr. HUNTER. I thank my colleague for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, let me just say about the major points of this bill, 
which we marked up, that we are in agreement with it. Contrary to Mr. 
Waxman, we did look at them before we came to the floor.
  We agree with the no more than 1 year for sole source, that is good; 
the plan to minimize use of sole source, that is good; maximize fixed-
price procurement, that is good; quarterly report to Congress, good; 
codify the right to review unredacted copies of reports, that is good.
  What I think you need to be very careful about, because if you are 
going to penalize people, if you are going to give them $50,000 civil 
penalties, you need to have it clearly laid out for those people who 
may be professional members of our staffs, who may be good people who 
come in from the outside and go to work in DOD and wanting to serve 
this country, let's make sure that walking into a room and 
participating in a conversation about a contract doesn't then expose 
them to civil penalties later on.
  So I am looking at title III, and I am looking at the word on line 
17, it talks about participated personally and substantially at a 
senior personnel level.
  Does that mean, and this relates, of course, to elimination of 
loopholes that allow former Federal officials to accept compensation 
from contractors or related entities? I think that is good.
  But I think we need to make it very clear as to whether a staff 
member, like one of your staff members, Mr. Waxman, going to work for 
DOD, who walks in a room and is asked a question about a defense system 
and answers that question, participates in the conversation, whether he 
has then violated the law.
  Now, if you turn, and I want you to take a look at that, that is line 
18. Now, turn the next page, page 14, and go down to the bottom, and it 
talks about the administration of a contract, which could also be a 
violation of a law.
  So if one of your former staff members or one of mine who goes to 
work for DOD should participate in the administration, let me just ask 
you, ask the gentleman from California, if it's a defense system, and 
your former staff member is assigned to go out to a range to see if 
that piece of equipment has arrived at the range and if it's being 
tested, is that involving itself in administration of the contract? Is 
that person, that former staff member of yours, now involved in 
administration such as to expose him to civil penalties? That is my 
question. I think we need to have that clarified.
  Mr. WAXMAN. As I understand the way we wrote this bill, it would have 
to be a person at a senior level who is substantially involved in the 
awarding of the contract. I don't think being on a range is an awarding 
of the contract.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Let me just ask the author of the 
amendment, this would obviously apply, this is a list that evolves, as 
the Secretary of State certifies, is that correct?
  Mr. MATHESON. That's correct.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I would assume that Iran, North Korea are 
probably on that list today?
  Mr. MATHESON. Currently they are on that list, that is correct.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, for 
example, would probably not be on that list today?
  Mr. MATHESON. That is correct.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I am prepared to accept the amendment. I 
congratulate the gentleman for offering it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MATHESON. I thank the gentleman from Virginia for the comments 
and helping to clarify this matter.
  Again, a limited set of circumstances, one I think is appropriate 
that we try to anticipate in advance so Congress isn't caught unaware. 
I appreciate the expression of support from the minority side of the 
aisle.
  I urge all my colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Matheson).
  The amendment was agreed to.


              Part B Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Castle

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 
printed in House Report 110-49.
  Mr. CASTLE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Part B amendment No. 2 offered by Mr. Castle:

[[Page H2594]]

       Add at the end of title III the following:

     SEC. 302. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

       (a) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of 
     Government Ethics shall submit a report to Congress that 
     contains the Director's recommendations on requiring 
     Government contractors that advise one or more Federal 
     agencies on procurement policy, and requiring federally 
     funded research and development centers, to comply with 
     restrictions relating to personal financial interests, such 
     as those that apply to Federal employees.
       (b) Definition.--In this section--
       (1) The term ``Government contractor'' means any person 
     (other than a Federal agency) with which a Federal agency has 
     entered into a contract to acquire goods or services.
       (2) The term ``Federal agency'' means--
       (A) any executive department or independent establishment 
     in the executive branch of the Government, including any 
     wholly owned Government corporation; and
       (B) any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch 
     of the Government (except the Senate, the House of 
     Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol and any 
     activities under the Architect's direction).
       (3) The term ``federally funded research and development 
     center'' means a federally funded research and development 
     center as identified by the National Science Foundation in 
     accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 242, the gentleman 
from Delaware (Mr. Castle) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Delaware.
  Mr. CASTLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise to offer myself a simple but much needed amendment to the 
legislation before us. According to a 2006 report by the Office of 
Government Ethics, many Federal agencies have become increasingly 
reliant on non government employees to work closely with government 
personnel and provide advice on important procurement and spending 
issues.
  For example, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, or 
FFRDCs, as they are commonly known, are in most cases financed 
exclusively by the agency of the Federal Government and provides 
services similar to the duties of the Government Accountability Office.
  There are currently 36 of these centers, which are normally 
affiliated with an industrial firm, a university or a nonprofit 
institution that contracts with the Pentagon, Homeland Security, 
Department of Energy and other Federal agencies to provide 
decisionmakers with recommendations on procurement policy and important 
issues that steer billions in taxpayer dollars.
  In fiscal year 2000, FFRDCs received over $6 billion in Federal 
funding for their services, yet they are not considered to be Federal 
employees. Beyond just FFRDCs, other private advisers are increasingly 
being used to provide critical guidance and recommendations.
  In fact, some of the most secret and inherently governmental jobs, 
including spending decisions and budget preparation at the Pentagon and 
Department of Homeland Security, are increasingly contracted out. 
Because private advisers and government employees play under different 
rules, our current conflict of interest laws do not apply to 
nongovernment workers serving in quasi-governmental controls.
  In fact, the Office of Government Ethics has determined that current 
law prohibits government employees from making recommendations on 
matters where they have a financial conflict of interest. But it does 
not presently apply to FFRDC personnel or the private advisers who sit 
right next to those employees making high-level decisions that involve 
billions in taxpayer dollars.
  While there is no doubt that the majority of these nongovernment 
advisers are dedicated individuals with highly specialized skills, 
there is purely a need to prevent financial conflicts of interest from 
impacting our government's important spending priorities.
  In fact, there have been reported incidents in which the advice of 
private advisers may have been tainted by personal conflicts of 
interest. In one case, an FFRDC contradicted government auditors, 
including the Government Accountability Office, and advised the 
Pentagon to move forward with a risky fighter jet program.
  As it turned out, the program suffered costly setbacks, eventually 
spending billions more than originally planned. It was later discovered 
that the President of the FFRDC that recommended the program had 
financial ties, which may have skewed their recommendations.
  My amendment would simply require the Office of Government Ethics to 
study this issue and submit a report to Congress within 180 days on 
recommendations for requiring nongovernment personnel who serve in an 
advisory role to the government to comply with personal financial 
conflict of interest regulations, such as those that currently apply to 
Federal employees.
  This is obviously a very complicated issue, but I firmly believe that 
it is Congress' responsibility to make certain that ethical people are 
providing sound advice when it comes to crucial government decisions 
regarding procurement and spending.
  I believe this amendment will help us better understand whether there 
is a need for such provisions and ensure that our government maximizes 
its return on investment at the best value for the taxpayer.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am not in opposition to the amendment, 
but I wish to claim the time that would go to the Member in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the gentleman from California 
is recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Castle amendment. 
There are currently no Federal ethics laws that apply to contractor 
employees. This is particularly problematic because contractors are 
providing more and more services that used to be performed by Federal 
service personnel.
  In many agencies today, one can tell the difference between a Federal 
employee and a contractor only by the color of his or her badge. One 
area where this can cause real problems is in the contracting 
workforce. A company providing contract oversight services to the 
government may be overseeing a company and working as a subcontractor 
to that same company in the private sector. Clearly such a situation 
would cause conflicts of interest.
  The amendment offered by Mr. Castle would require the Office of 
Government Ethics to report to Congress with recommendations on 
requiring contract employees to be covered by Federal financial and 
conflict of interest laws.
  I support this amendment and urge all of my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CASTLE. I very much appreciate the support of the distinguished 
gentleman from California. I think that is significant.
  Mr. Chairman, I do feel this is an area that we should look into. I 
am not enough of an expert to specifically recommend how to do it. That 
is why we are asking for the study in 180 days. There is potential for 
conflict here, and we are dealing with very, very large sums of money, 
and in my judgment, as part of a lot that we are doing this year in 
bringing in everybody with governmental basis in terms of making 
decisions, I think it's a very good idea that we do this.
  I appreciate his support. I hope the amendment will eventually lead 
to the best rules and regulations possible with respect to conflicts of 
interest as far as the future is concerned and the best interests of 
the country.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1300

  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I have time still available if any Member 
wishes me to yield to him or her.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Will the gentleman yield 30 seconds?
  Mr. WAXMAN. I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I will commend my friend from Delaware for 
offering this amendment. I would just say we are happy, and we are here 
to support it as well, and we think this adds to the bill.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I urge support for the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. All time for debate on the amendment has 
expired.

[[Page H2595]]

  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
Delaware (Mr. Castle).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. There being no further amendments, the question 
is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.
  The amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed 
to.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
McNulty) having assumed the chair, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Acting 
Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, 
reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill 
(H.R. 1362) to reform acquisition practices of the Federal Government, 
pursuant to House Resolution 242, reported the bill back to the House 
with an amendment adopted by the Committee of the Whole.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is 
ordered.
  Is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the amendment 
reported from the Committee of the Whole? If not, the question is on 
the amendment.
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


        Motion to Recommit Offered by Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia

  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. I am, Mr. Speaker, in its present form.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:
       Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia moves to recommit the bill H.R. 
     1362 to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform with 
     instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith 
     with the following amendment:

       At the end of title II, add the following new section (and 
     conform the table of contents accordingly):

     SEC. 2__. PROHIBITION ON CONTRACTS TO EDUCATIONAL 
                   INSTITUTIONS NOT SUPPORTING U.S. DEFENSE 
                   EFFORTS.

       An executive agency may not award a contract to an 
     institution of higher education (including any subelement of 
     such institution) if that institution (or any subelement of 
     that institution) has a policy or practice (regardless of 
     when implemented) that either prohibits, or in effect 
     prevents, the Secretary of a military department or the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security from gaining access to 
     campuses of the institution, or access to students (who are 
     17 years of age or older) on campuses, for purposes of 
     military recruiting, in a manner that is at least equal in 
     quality and scope to the access to campuses and to students 
     that is provided to any other employer. For purposes of this 
     section, the term ``institution of higher education'' has the 
     meaning provided in section 101 of the Higher Education Act 
     of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001). The prohibition in this section 
     shall not apply to an institution of higher education (or any 
     subelement of that institution) if the Secretary of Defense 
     determines that the institution of higher education involved 
     has a longstanding policy of pacifism based on historical 
     religious affiliation.

  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask 
unanimous consent that the motion to recommit be considered as read and 
printed in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  This motion to recommit would bar Federal agencies from awarding 
contracts to colleges and universities that either prohibit on-campus 
military recruitment, or otherwise do not provide military recruiters 
access to campuses and to students that is at least equal in quality 
and scope to the access that is provided to any other employer.
  On March 6, 2006, the Supreme Court reversed a Federal appeals court 
ruling in Rumsfeld vs. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights. In 
doing so, eight Justices upheld the constitutionality of the so-called 
Solomon amendment, upon which this motion is based, forbidding most 
forms of Federal aid to higher educational institutions that deny 
military recruiters access to students equal to that provided other 
employers.
  Mr. Speaker, military recruiters must be given access to university 
and college campuses and students that is at least equal in quality and 
scope provided to other employers.
  This motion establishes that requirement government-wide. We already 
do this to some agencies in government. A number of Departments are 
already covered; but since this bill is government-wide in scope, we 
make this government-wide in scope.
  This motion establishes that requirement, thereby addressing an 
apparent trend among certain colleges and universities to attempt to 
frustrate military recruiters through official and unofficial 
mistreatment.
  Unfortunately, this growing trend is not isolated to the higher 
education community, as evidenced by the decision last November by the 
San Francisco Board of Education to phase out Junior ROTC from the high 
school system over the next 2 years. At a time of war, when we are 
depending on a volunteer military, it seems counterproductive to be 
openly discriminating against our military personnel and to create 
perceptions that military service is not a noble and professional 
calling.
  The Department of Defense noting that certain colleges and 
universities continue to restrict access or limit opportunities for 
military recruiters to participate fully in job fairs, placement office 
services and interview programs, supports congressional efforts to take 
action to pass legislation granting military recruiters access equal to 
that of other employers.
  The motion to recommit would help prod those colleges and 
universities that currently do not provide equal access to military 
recruiters.
  We also, I want to note, have a clause in here that this prohibition 
does not apply to an institution of higher education or a sub-element 
if the Secretary of Defense determines that the institution has a 
longstanding policy of pacifism based on historical religious 
affiliation.
  I urge my colleagues to support this.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Hunter).
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I like this motion to recommit. You know, 
all of us have shown our support for the troops. Almost every Member in 
this body has shown support by traveling to the warfighting theaters. 
This is a chance to show support in another way, to show that we 
believe that the military is an outstanding profession, one which many 
of our young people who are in institutions of higher education may 
want to engage in. And this elevates, I think, the military profession 
by showing that we accord it respect by putting this requirement in 
this motion to recommit.
  So I thank the gentleman for offering it. I think it is excellent. I 
would commend it to all the Members of this body. And I want to thank 
the chairman for his offering of the base bill, and for the ranking 
member, Mr. Davis, for their hard work.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I would just add, 10 U.S.C. 
983 already covers a number of agencies, the Department of Defense and 
others in terms of contracting and limitations that are put on colleges 
and universities that don't allow recruiters to come on campuses. This 
makes it government-wide.
  This body has addressed this issue before. But I think it is time to 
make this government-wide, and I would urge my colleagues to support 
the motion to recommit.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this motion to 
recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Members could have different views about the underlying 
question, and that is whether universities should be able to exclude 
military recruiters. It is not a new issue to be considered on this 
floor. We have voted on this many, many times. Some universities have 
taken the position that they don't want military recruiters on their 
campus because the military is not an equal opportunity employer based 
on the ``don't ask, don't

[[Page H2596]]

tell'' policy. I happen to think that universities that take this 
position are right.
  But that is not the reason I oppose this motion to recommit. I oppose 
it because I have heard the arguments made by my colleagues many, many, 
times that we shouldn't exclude somebody from competing from a contract 
on extraneous bases.
  Why should we exclude a university from being able to compete in a 
government contract when they might be the ones who can save the lives 
of our troops? After all, the bioshield program has given money, 
Federal dollars to universities to try to develop ways to get us 
vaccines that will stop the impact of anthrax or smallpox. Are we going 
to say that a university that develops such a vaccine will not be able 
to compete for a contract to sell that vaccine because they don't want 
recruiters on their campus because they object to the don't ask, don't 
tell policy? That doesn't make any sense. People ought to be able to 
compete for contracts based on what they can do if they are selected to 
perform that contract. Are we going to exclude people for extraneous 
reasons? I don't think that makes sense.
  So I think if you look at it carefully, when you recognize that the 
work being done at universities can be so important in so many 
different ways, that we should just arbitrarily exclude them. I think 
we have all said over and over again in the debate on this bill, we 
don't like sole-source contracts. We want competition. We want market 
forces. Well, sometimes you need a sole-source contract in an 
emergency. Well, then we say at least a year later, let's have 
competition.
  But if we adopt this amendment, from the very beginning we will not 
allow competition if it involves competition from a university unless 
they have a longstanding position of being pacifists, and then we will 
let them compete. But if they have a different position, but they also 
have the ability to compete and to provide a service that can save our 
country from terrorism, save our military from disease, save the 
American people the consequences for which we need them to perform in 
that contract, we are going to exclude them.
  I urge opposition. I know Members will feel a lot of pressure on this 
because it can be used in a 30-second ad, that Congressman So-and-So 
voted to allow universities to exclude military recruiters. Well, I 
don't think that is really what this amendment is doing. It is 
excluding universities from competing for contracts, even if they can, 
in awarding that contract, provide vital services and that maybe no one 
else can provide. So I urge opposition to the motion to recommit.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time has expired.
  Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to 
recommit.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the 
ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a 
quorum is not present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair will reduce to 5 minutes 
the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 309, 
nays 114, not voting 10, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 155]

                               YEAS--309

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Altmire
     Andrews
     Baca
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bean
     Berkley
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonner
     Bono
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd (FL)
     Boyda (KS)
     Brady (TX)
     Braley (IA)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, David
     Davis, Lincoln
     Davis, Tom
     DeFazio
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Donnelly
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Ellsworth
     Emerson
     Engel
     English (PA)
     Etheridge
     Everett
     Fallin
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Giffords
     Gilchrest
     Gillibrand
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Granger
     Graves
     Green, Gene
     Hall (NY)
     Hall (TX)
     Hare
     Harman
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Heller
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth
     Hill
     Hobson
     Hodes
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Inglis (SC)
     Inslee
     Israel
     Issa
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jindal
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jordan
     Kagen
     Keller
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Klein (FL)
     Kline (MN)
     Knollenberg
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Lamborn
     Lampson
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lowey
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Lynch
     Mack
     Mahoney (FL)
     Maloney (NY)
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Marshall
     Matheson
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     McNerney
     Meek (FL)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Mitchell
     Moore (KS)
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Murphy, Tim
     Murtha
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Nunes
     Oberstar
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Perlmutter
     Peterson (MN)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Royce
     Ruppersberger
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Salazar
     Sali
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Schiff
     Schmidt
     Schwartz
     Scott (GA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Sestak
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shuler
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sires
     Skelton
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Souder
     Space
     Spratt
     Stearns
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Tancredo
     Tauscher
     Taylor
     Terry
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Visclosky
     Walberg
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh (NY)
     Walz (MN)
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (OH)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Yarmuth
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                               NAYS--114

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Arcuri
     Baldwin
     Becerra
     Berman
     Blumenauer
     Brady (PA)
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Carson
     Castor
     Clarke
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Cohen
     Conyers
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Davis (IL)
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Doggett
     Ellison
     Emanuel
     Eshoo
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Frank (MA)
     Gonzalez
     Green, Al
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hastings (FL)
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hirono
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kennedy
     Kucinich
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Loebsack
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Markey
     Matsui
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meeks (NY)
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (NC)
     Mollohan
     Moore (WI)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Price (NC)
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Rodriguez
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Slaughter
     Solis
     Stark
     Sutton
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Velazquez
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Welch (VT)
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn

                             NOT VOTING--10

     Brown (SC)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Deal (GA)
     Hastert
     Kaptur
     Miller, George
     Peterson (PA)
     Radanovich
     Saxton
     Tanner

                              {time}  1409

  Messrs. LOEBSACK, PALLONE, BECERRA, ALLEN, TOWNS, DELAHUNT, WELCH of 
Vermont, MEEHAN, RODRIGUEZ, OLVER, MOLLOHAN and ROTHMAN and Ms. CLARKE, 
Ms. HIRONO and Ms.

[[Page H2597]]

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Messrs. EVERETT, CARNAHAN, LARSEN of Washington, HARE, RAHALL, 
COSTELLO, MAHONEY of Florida, BACA, KAGEN, COURTNEY, KINGSTON and 
VISCLOSKY and Mrs. TAUSCHER, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mrs. McCARTHY of New York 
and Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California changed their vote from ``nay'' 
to ``yea.''
  So the motion to recommit was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the instructions of the House in 
the motion to recommit, I report H.R. 1362 back to the House with an 
amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment:
       At the end of title II, add the following new section (and 
     conform the table of contents accordingly):

     SEC. 2__. PROHIBITION ON CONTRACTS TO EDUCATIONAL 
                   INSTITUTIONS NOT SUPPORTING U.S. DEFENSE 
                   EFFORTS.

       An executive agency may not award a contract to an 
     institution of higher education (including any subelement of 
     such institution) if that institution (or any subelement of 
     that institution) has a policy or practice (regardless of 
     when implemented) that either prohibits, or in effect 
     prevents, the Secretary of a military department or the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security from gaining access to 
     campuses of the institution, or access to students (who are 
     17 years of age or older) on campuses, for purposes of 
     military recruiting, in a manner that is at least equal in 
     quality and scope to the access to campuses and to students 
     that is provided to any other employer. For purposes of this 
     section, the term ``institution of higher education'' has the 
     meaning provided in section 101 of the Higher Education Act 
     of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001). The prohibition in this section 
     shall not apply to an institution of higher education (or any 
     subelement of that institution) if the Secretary of Defense 
     determines that the institution of higher education involved 
     has a longstanding policy of pacifism based on historical 
     religious affiliation.

  Mr. WAXMAN (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the amendment.
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and the 
third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 347, 
noes 73, not voting 13, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 156]

                               AYES--347

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Alexander
     Altmire
     Andrews
     Arcuri
     Baca
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldwin
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blackburn
     Blumenauer
     Bono
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd (FL)
     Boyda (KS)
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Butterfield
     Camp (MI)
     Capito
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carson
     Carter
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     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dicks
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     Gordon
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     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hall (NY)
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     Inslee
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     Moore (KS)
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     Murphy, Patrick
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     Salazar
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     Sanchez, Loretta
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     Schiff
     Schwartz
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     Scott (VA)
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     Sestak
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     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (WA)
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     Solis
     Space
     Spratt
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     Terry
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     Thompson (MS)
     Tiberi
     Tierney
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     Wilson (OH)
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Yarmuth
     Young (FL)

                                NOES--73

     Akin
     Barton (TX)
     Bilbray
     Bishop (UT)
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonner
     Brady (TX)
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Conaway
     Cubin
     Culberson
     Davis, Tom
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Everett
     Feeney
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Gallegly
     Hall (TX)
     Herger
     Hoekstra
     Hunter
     Issa
     Johnson, Sam
     King (IA)
     Lamborn
     Lewis (CA)
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     McCaul (TX)
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McKeon
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Pearce
     Pence
     Pitts
     Poe
     Price (GA)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rohrabacher
     Sali
     Schmidt
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Simpson
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Tancredo
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Turner
     Walberg
     Westmoreland
     Wicker
     Wilson (SC)
     Young (AK)

                             NOT VOTING--13

     Allen
     Brown (SC)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Deal (GA)
     Hastert
     Linder
     Miller, George
     Peterson (PA)
     Radanovich
     Saxton
     Slaughter
     Sullivan
     Tanner

                              {time}  1427

  Mr. TURNER changed his vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 156, I was unavoidably 
detained. Had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably detained and missed 
rollcall vote 156. Had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''

                          ____________________