Amendment Text: H.Amdt.313 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (05/25/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H3622 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H3621-H3630]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 112-88 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, 
H.R. 1540.

                              {time}  1701


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 1540) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 
for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military 
construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for fiscal year 
2012, and for other purposes, with Mr. McClintock (Acting Chair) in the 
chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 28 printed in House 
Report 112-88 by the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi) had been 
postponed.


                Amendment No. 26 Offered by Mrs. Maloney

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, it is 
now in order to consider amendment No. 26 printed in House Report 112-
88.
  Mrs. MALONEY. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of subtitle E of title VIII, add the following 
     new section:

     SEC. 845. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF SENIOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 
                   OFFICIALS EMPLOYED WITH DEFENSE CONTRACTORS.

       (a) Amendment.--Section 847 of the National Defense 
     Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181; 
     122 Stat. 243; 10 U.S.C. 1701 note) is amended by adding at 
     the end the following new subsection:
       ``(e) Public Availability.--Not later than 30 days after 
     the provision of the written opinion under subsection (a)(3), 
     the Secretary of Defense shall publish on a publicly 
     available website the information submitted under this 
     section, including the names of each official or former 
     official described in subsection (a)(1) and the contractor 
     from whom such official or former official expects to receive 
     compensation.''.
       (b) Previously Submitted Information.--With respect to the 
     publication of information required by subsection (e) of 
     section 847 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
     Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181; 122 Stat. 243; 10 
     U.S.C. 1701 note), as added by subsection (a), for 
     information that was submitted before the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall publish 
     such information on a publicly available website not later 
     than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentlewoman 
from New York (Mrs. Maloney) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from New York.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would require public 
disclosure of information submitted under section 847 of this act.
  This amendment is about bringing more accountability and sunshine to 
the $379 billion average annual defense contracting business by making 
a revolving door database, which already exists, publicly available. It 
would allow the public access to important ethics information about 
some DOD employees who leave to go through the resolving door to jobs 
in the defense contracting industry, often with companies with whom 
they have been negotiating billions of dollars in contracts.
  Current and former public servants should not be able to use their 
positions for private gain, and powerful defense contractors should not 
be able to rig the system.
  But, unfortunately, this relationship is not uncommon. One way 
contractors gain influence in the government is to hire away civil 
servants and political appointees with access to inside people and 
information from their government positions. In some cases, highly 
skilled and well-connected former senior government officials enter the 
private sector as executives or officers or lobbyists or on the boards 
of directors of government contractors, a practice known as the 
revolving door.
  It is also widely acknowledged that there are inherent conflicts of 
interest in the revolving door, potential ethical problems that can 
lead to the wasteful spending of taxpayers' dollars and worse.
  For this reason, DOD currently collects ethics opinions on certain 
acquisition employees who go to work for contractors within 2 years of 
leaving DOD. This amendment would simply require this database to be 
publicly available online.
  This amendment would not add any requirements or change the current 
post-employment restrictions. The law already requires DOD employees 
who hold a key acquisition position to obtain a written ethics opinion 
from a DOD ethics counselor before taking a job with a contractor in 
the 2 years after leaving DOD.
  The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008 mandated 
that covered DOD acquisition officials, that would be certain executive 
schedule, Senior Executive Service, and general or flag officer 
positions, must obtain a post-employment ethics opinion before 
accepting a paid position from a DOD contractor within 2 years after 
they leave DOD service. It also requires that DOD contractors ensure 
that new hires have an ethics opinion.
  The law also requires that each request for a written opinion made 
pursuant to this section, and each written opinion provided pursuant to 
such a request, shall be retained by the Department of Defense in a 
central database for not less than 5 years beginning on the date in 
which the written opinion was provided.

[[Page H3622]]

  But these ethics opinions are not currently shared with the public. 
Why should this information be secret and hidden from public view?
  At times the overly cozy relationships between DOD and contractors 
lead to cost overruns, loose ethical standards, and lack of 
accountability. This problem is compounded by the dramatic increase in 
DOD contract spending in recent years. The inability of DOD's 
acquisition workforce to effectively manage that dramatic growth and 
increasing industry consolidation have caused DOD to become too 
dependent on a handful of companies to provide essential goods and 
services.
  It has become impractical or even outright impossible for DOD to bar 
any of these companies from contracting or impose punishment more 
severe than a mere slap on the wrist.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chair, the examples of lack of accountability are 
endless:
  BAE Systems: Last year, BAE settled an international bribery case in 
the U.S. and UK for $450 million and pleaded guilty to criminal 
charges. But it was allowed to keep doing business with the federal 
government and has won billions of dollars in contracts since then. 
Even last week's run-in with the State Department, when BAE paid $79 
million after State discovered they had withheld vital info while 
negotiating last year's settlement, hasn't hurt it.
  BP: Last year, the EPA was considering debarring BP for its many 
environmental and workplace safety violations, but DoD pressured them 
to back off because BP supplies 80 percent of the fuel to U.S. forces.
  KBR: Still a key DoD supplier despite a long history of misconduct, 
including incidents that put the lives of soldiers and employees at 
risk.
  Charles Tiefer of the Commission on Wartime Contracting nicknamed 
five large companies that do business with DoD (KBR, Agility, Louis 
Berger Group, Tamimi, First Kuwaiti) the ``Flagrant Five'' for 
continuing to receive contracts despite claims of fraud, misconduct and 
poor performance.
  At a time when the public is questioning the ethics and integrity of 
the federal government and its spending of taxpayer dollars, the very 
least we can do is to shine a little light on the revolving door 
between the government and large private contractors.
  This amendment would do just that.
  It would direct DoD to make the information they already collect 
publicly available online to increase accountability and improve the 
ethics in relationships between DoD acquisitions and defense 
contractors. Groups like the nonpartisan Project On Government 
Oversight have urged DoD to make the database public, to no avail. DoD 
is not prohibited from putting the information online, but clearly has 
resisted doing so.
  There is no public interest in keeping this information secret or 
hidden from view. The only interest served by keeping this ethics 
information in the shadows are those of current and former public 
servants use their positions for private gain means powerful private 
corporations can rig the system in their favor. This costs taxpayers, 
limits or eliminates competition from businesses that may be the best 
for the job, and results in flawed policies and bad procurement 
decisions. It also harms the public trust.
  Public access to the revolving door database represents the kind of 
open government that the public wants and deserves, especially at this 
time of ever-escalating spending of taxpayer dollars by the Pentagon. 
It will improve the integrity of the federal contracting system, shine 
light on the revolving door between the Pentagon and the defense 
industry, and act as a deterrent to overly-cozy relationship that could 
lead to wasted taxpayer dollars.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. McKEON. I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. McKEON. Mr. Chairman, I will just make three brief points.
  Public disclosure of this personal information serves no purpose but 
to infringe on the rights and the privacy of civil servants.
  The second point, the data required is already being reviewed by the 
DOD Inspector General. There's no oversight value in making it publicly 
available. This will only hamper the DOD's efforts to recruit talented 
acquisition personnel.
  I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Thornberry).
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, in addition, I think it should be 
pointed out that in the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the 
Congress required that the Panel on Contracting Integrity review 
policies related to post-employment restrictions. Now that report is 
supposed to be delivered this summer.

                              {time}  1710

  It seems to me to be prudent that we listen to what we ordered them 
to tell us before we start making new restrictions and new requirements 
without even hearing what their report says.
  So I appreciate the concerns that the gentlelady brings up on this 
issue. But as the chairman indicated, study after study related to our 
acquisition process talks about the difficulty of attracting top 
quality acquisition folks and yet the importance of having those very 
people.
  I think it's very important, while we obviously must consider the 
ethical considerations, we also, just as obviously, have to consider 
whether we are attracting top quality talent or repelling top quality 
talent. And it would be very helpful for Congress to hold off and 
listen to the report that we have ordered them to give us before we 
start making additional legislation and additional requirements that 
could have severe adverse consequences in this area.
  So, I think we should reject this amendment, listen to the report, 
see what it says, and see if and when additional action is needed after 
that.
  Mr. McKEON. How much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California has 2\3/4\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. McKEON. Mr. Chair, I think one of the things that we do in this 
bill is look at redundancy and the things that we are trying to make 
simpler, not more complex. I think, as the gentleman said, we've 
already asked for a report on this. We will get that report back, and 
then there will be time to see if there is any reason to go further in 
this direction.
  I would encourage my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from New York 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 30 Offered by Mr. Himes

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 30 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 414, line 4, strike ``and''.
       Page 414, line 20, strike the period and insert ``; and''.
       Page 414, after line 20, insert the following:
       (5) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(h) Direction of Funds.--Any savings realized under this 
     section shall be deposited into the general fund of the 
     Treasury and used for deficit reduction.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentleman 
from Connecticut (Mr. Himes) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Connecticut.
  Mr. HIMES. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to speak on behalf of my amendment to H.R. 
1540. The underlying text of the National Defense Authorization Act 
calls for the shift of certain inherently governmental functions, 
currently being performed by contractors, to civilian employees within 
the Department of Defense.
  My amendment is simple. It requires that any cost savings achieved by 
this transfer be used for deficit reduction. I'm going to say that 
again. Any cost savings associated with shifting work from contractors 
to civilian employees will get used for deficit reduction.
  Reaching the debt limit last week was a stark reminder of the 
consequences of ballooning spending throughout the Federal Government, 
including defense spending. Committing cost savings to deficit 
reduction is the first step toward returning to a fiscally sustainable 
budget. By reducing

[[Page H3623]]

the deficit with identified savings from the Department of Defense, we 
will help to ensure that we have enough to invest in education, 
infrastructure, and job-creating priorities that we all share while 
cutting spending to reduce the deficit.
  This is a smart and fiscally responsible amendment. I urge my 
colleagues to adopt it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FORBES. First of all, I want to thank the gentleman for bringing 
this amendment. I know he is sincere in talking about deficit 
reduction, and I certainly appreciate that. All of us on this side are 
equally sincere. In fact, I'm one of only 17 Members of this body who 
voted against every single one of the bailouts and stimulus bills 
because we realized what it was doing to the deficit in this country.
  Secondly, I share the gentleman's concern when he talks about some of 
DOD's decisions to change from private contractors to civilians because 
some of those decisions haven't been based on business models. But just 
because they have not all been correct doesn't mean they have all been 
wrong. And the problem with this approach is that it's exactly the 
wrong approach because it will be a disincentive to the Department of 
Defense to try to reach these efficiencies.
  The reason that DOD has an incentive to try to make these 
efficiencies is so that they can reprioritize and use these dollars for 
programs that are absolutely vital and important for the national 
defense of the country. To say that every time they make those savings 
we are going to take off of the top line of the Department of Defense 
will be a disincentive for the Department of Defense to make those 
savings.
  And here are the effects that we have. If we don't have civilians 
doing these jobs, we have had testimony coming before our committee 
from our generals and our admirals that basically what that means is 
they have to take military personnel to do that work, which means they 
don't have the time to do the training that they need to do to be 
prepared to fight and defend this country.
  The other concern we have with some of the reductions that we would 
be taking out of DOD, in the budget submitted to us this year, they 
were actually pushing back on facility maintenance that we needed to 
keep our facilities updated to only 80 percent of the maintenance that 
was required.
  So, Mr. Chairman, I think it's vitally important that we do a lot for 
deficit reduction. I think it's vitally important that we look at the 
fact, for example, that on some of our stimulus bills we're talking 
about $800 billion. In this, we're talking about several million 
dollars.
  But I think the most important thing, Mr. Chairman, is that we make 
sure we are giving DOD the incentives they need to make sure they are 
prioritizing correctly the dollars that they have and that we not take 
money off of the top line of the defense budget, which I think would be 
detrimental to us at this time.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will oppose the amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Chairman, if I understand the argument of my colleague 
from Virginia, he is saying that by taking away money for the purposes 
of debt reduction from the DOD that we will be disincentivizing action, 
which we all know to be the right thing to do here.
  So let me just toss out a couple of facts.
  Fact No. 1, Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
has identified the debt of this country as perhaps the single largest 
strategic threat to the security of the country.
  Fact No. 2, in DOD, we are talking about people who, if anywhere in 
the government are dedicated to doing the right thing by all of us, 
sacrificing for the good of this Nation, and their leader said that the 
single largest strategic threat to this country is our debt, how can 
you make an argument against this amendment? Think about the words of 
Admiral Mullen.
  The argument seems to me to be an insider Washington argument, which 
is if you take away their cheese, they're going to be angry. They won't 
do the right thing because you're taking away their cheese.
  I will stop speaking, but I will just ask my colleague from Virginia 
whether he believes in the context of what Admiral Mullen said about 
deficit reduction and the debt and whether he really believes that the 
DOD will do the wrong thing here.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia has 2 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Chairman, I would be glad to answer my good friend's 
question by saying I absolutely believe what Admiral Mullen said. When 
you look at the efficiencies that the Department of Defense has been 
talking about, we're talking about roughly $179 million. But I would 
suggest my friend look at comparing that to the $800 billion that we 
spent on a stimulus package which I voted against because I realized 
what it was doing to the deficit in this country, exactly what the 
admiral mentioned.
  The other thing, Mr. Chairman, that I would suggest to the gentleman 
is, quite honestly, I will tell him I do not know if the Constitution 
mandates or gives us the authority to bail out the auto industry or the 
insurance industry or the banking industry or the mortgage industry or 
whatever else we've been bailing out, but one thing I do know is this. 
When some of the smartest people this Nation has ever birthed came 
together and agreed on one thing in our Constitution, the thing they 
mandated that this Congress do is to maintain strong armies and navies 
and to defend this country. And one of the things I unabashedly will 
say is that we need to stand firm and make sure the Department of 
Defense has the dollars that they need to defend and protect freedom 
and to pass it on to our children and our grandchildren. And I believe 
this amendment goes a step towards taking that ability away from them.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will reject the amendment, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Connecticut has 2\1/4\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Chairman, all I've got to say about that is, wow. Here 
we are talking about the DOD and what we should do with savings found 
in the DOD, and the gentleman from Virginia is bringing up stimulus and 
TARP and $800 billion, which has absolutely nothing to do with the 
question at hand, a mechanism that is used all too often by the other 
side.
  The gentleman mentions the Constitution. Nobody in this room is 
saying that we shouldn't adequately fund the Department of Defense. 
That's not what this is about any more than this is about TARP or 
stimulus or any of the other things that my colleague spoke about.
  The Constitution also says that it is this body--this body--that will 
determine how funds are spent. My colleague from Virginia is saying 
that extra money at the DOD that is saved in a mechanism that we all 
agree makes sense, that it should be a slush fund, if you will, that 
the DOD should decide how they use that. The Constitution of the United 
States is very clear. That's our job.

                              {time}  1720

  Nobody is saying that we should underfund defense; that is not what 
this is about. And I am delighted that the gentleman takes such great 
pride in having voted against the stimulus and the TARP, which by the 
way, I would say the day after Chrysler has repaid its government loan 
6 years early, the gentleman might revisit his point on that, but that 
is not what this is about.
  This is about good government and deficit reduction and abiding by 
the spirit of the Constitution that says we decide how money is used, 
not the agencies.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Himes).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by

[[Page H3624]]

the gentleman from Connecticut will be postponed.


          Amendment No. 31 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 31 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 417, after line 7, insert the following:

     SEC. 941. ASSESSMENT OF CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN 
                   FUNCTIONS ON SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS OWNED AND 
                   CONTROLLED BY WOMEN AND MINORITIES.

       No Department of Defense function that is performed by 
     Department of Defense civilian employees and is tied to a 
     certain military base may be converted to performance by a 
     contractor until the Secretary of Defense conducts an 
     outreach program to benefit small business concerns owned and 
     controlled by women (as such term is defined in section 
     8(d)(3)(D) of the Small Business Act) and small business 
     concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically 
     disadvantaged individuals (as such term is defined in section 
     8(d)(3)(C) of the Small Business Act) that are located in the 
     geographic area near the military base.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much. I see 
my good friend from Pennsylvania is on his feet, and I know that he is 
going to help me help small businesses because that is the simplicity 
of this amendment.
  It is simple. It is engaging, embracing. It is recognizing that all 
of us have our good neighbors back in our district. It is also an 
affirmation of the importance of the work of the United States 
military, and the many, many small businesses who desire to be of 
service. And so this amendment is simply informational, but it has a 
basis in success; outreach, to make sure that our small businesses 
around the Nation have a sense of what available opportunities are 
there for them.
  It calls for renewed vigor in advocating and constructing effective 
policies that will make the United States the most talented, diverse, 
effective, and powerful workforce in the increasingly globalized 
economy.
  We also realize, and I always say to my small businesses that they 
are the job creators of the 21st Century, and they do so in conjunction 
with the United States military. It may be janitorial services, 
painting buildings, mowing lawns, and related activities. Our small 
businesses can do that.
  So this amendment simply asks the Department of Defense, as it 
outsources its work, to make sure that it reaches out to the small 
business community so that they will be, if I might use the vernacular, 
in the mix. They will have the understanding and the opportunity to get 
jobs, to get business based on their qualifications and based upon 
their ability to do work.
  In addition, might I say that many of us have come across situations 
where our base leadership is trying to be fiscally responsible and has 
taken in business that they had heretofore outsourced. My point is that 
it is important to assess that impact on small businesses.
  I heard a discussion earlier on the floor that we want to equalize 
the playing field for our small businesses. We know that the larger 
companies, they have got the roadmap. This is simply an opportunity to 
say to Americans, all of you are taxpayers, all of you have the 
opportunity to do something for the United States military, and that 
may be using your talents as a small business to have the opportunity.
  Let's outreach so they have the information. Let's make sure that we 
are engaged. Let's make sure that we create jobs.
  Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of my amendment #31 to H.R. 1540, 
``National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2011,'' which 
requires the Secretary of Defense to utilize an outreach program to 
attract small and minority owned businesses prior to the outsourcing of 
military contracts related to local military bases.
  Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have sponsored legislation that 
promotes diversity. I stand proudly before you today to call for 
renewed vigor in advocating and constructing effective policies that 
will make the United States the most talented, diverse, effective, and 
powerful workforce in an increasingly globalized economy. This 
amendment will require the Department of Defense to consider the impact 
that changes to current outsourcing guidelines will have on small 
minority and women owned business by requiring them to engage with 
these businesses. Promoting diversity is more than just an idea it 
requires an understanding that there is a need to have a process that 
will ensure the inclusion of minorities and women in all areas of 
American life.
  As a practical matter the Department of Defense has the discretion to 
choose whether a contract should be in-sourced or out-source. Since 
March of 2009 it is understood that certain federal contracts that were 
formerly completed by civilian employees would be returned to federal 
employees. It is important to find balance between contracts that 
should be conducted by the federal government versus civilian 
contractors. As it stands the policies implemented by the DOD has the 
unintended consequence of harming small minority and women owned 
businesses by taking away civilian contracts that are not inherently 
serving a federal government purpose such as janitorial services, 
painting building, mowing lawns and related activities. These service 
contracts which tend to be the bread and butter for minority and women 
owned business are slowly being withdrawn and returned to the federal 
government.


                  JOHN FREEMAN, PRESIDENT OF HALLMARK

  Take for example my constituent John Freeman.
  Mr. Freeman operates Hallmark Capitol group, a Houston based small 
women and veteran owned business which specializes in providing 
transportation services, vehicle repair, and preventive vehicle 
maintenance.
  Mr. Freeman currently has 14 Department of Defense contracts across 
the US.
  One of Mr. Freeman's contracts is at Patrick Air force base in 
Florida. The Department of Defense decided to in- source VOM (Vehicle 
Operation Maintenance). The value of this contract is approximately $4 
million a year and Hallmark employees nearly 40 people on this 
contract. The government has decided to in-source this contract 
effective which will result in the loss of nearly 40 jobs. They will be 
out of a job by the end of the year and will not receive any 
preferential hiring treatment from the federal government.
  Hallmark filed a lawsuit in the court of federal claims to prevent 
the Air Force from in-sourcing this federal contract. The Court of 
Federal claims ruled on May 15th that contractors lack any standing or 
jurisdiction to question the government's decision to in source 
contracts. Shortly thereafter, Hallmark filed an Appeal of the Court of 
Federal claims decision. They are currently awaiting the outcome of the 
appeal.
  We must take a closer look at the impact changes in the new 
Department of Defense out sourcing and in-sourcing policies are having 
on small minority, veteran and women owned businesses. The Department 
of Defense must review their policies to fairly balance the need to 
return inherently federal operations from those that can be done by 
civilian contractors.
  Frankly, we can all agree that painting the side of a building is not 
an inherently government function. These service type contracts are 
mainly conducted by small business who will be at a distinct 
disadvantage if their contracts are suspended.
  Small businesses represent more than the American dream--they 
represent the American economy. Small businesses account for 95 percent 
of all employers, create half of our gross domestic product, and 
provide three out of four new jobs in this country.
  Small business growth means economic growth for the nation. But to 
keep this segment of our economy thriving, entrepreneurs need access to 
loans. Through loans, small business owners can expand their 
businesses, hire more workers and provide more goods and services. The 
Small Business Administration (SBA), a federal organization that aids 
small businesses with loan and development programs, is a key provider 
of support to small businesses. The SBA's main loan program accounts 
for 30 percent of all long-term small business borrowing in America.
  I have worked hard to help small business owners to fully realize 
their potential. That is why I support entrepreneurial development 
programs, including the Small Business Development Center and Women's 
Business Center programs. These initiatives provide counseling in a 
variety of critical areas, including business plan development, 
finance, and marketing. My amendment would require the Department of 
Defense to utilize a similar outreach program prior to outsourcing. The 
Department of Defense should investigate what impact changes

[[Page H3625]]

to current outsourcing guidelines will have on minority and women owned 
small businesses. Outreach is key to developing healthy and diverse 
small businesses.
  There are 5.8 million minority owned businesses in the United States, 
representing a significant aspect of our economy. In 2007, minority 
owned businesses employed nearly 6 million Americans and generated $1 
trillion dollars in economic output.
  Women owned businesses have increased 20% since 2002, and currently 
total close to 8 million. These organizations make up more than half of 
all businesses in health care and social assistance.
  My home city of Houston, Texas is home to more than 60,000 women 
owned businesses, and more than 60,000 African American owned 
businesses.
  According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there has been an 
average of between 15,000 and 20,000 private contractors working in 
Iraq providing a variety of services for the military. These private 
contractors are hired for everything, from supplying translators, and 
maintaining surveillance systems to preparing meals and washing 
uniforms.
  The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that during the Vietnam 
War, the ratio of contractors to soldiers was 1 in 10. This rate 
increases to about 1 contractor for every soldier during Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. These contracts generate billions of dollars in revenue 
for the companies to which they are awarded.
  Women owned businesses were awarded 3.4% of DOD prime contracts in 
Fiscal Year 2009. Small Disadvantaged Businesses were awarded 7.2%, 
while Historically Underutilized Businesses got 3.3%.
  According to a 2009 report published by the Economic Policy 
Institute, ``Starting in 2004, the Small Business Administration (SBA) 
set goals for small business participation in federal contracts.
  It encouraged agencies to award contracts to companies owned by 
women, veterans, and minorities or those located in economically 
challenged areas and gave them benchmarks to work toward. The targets 
are specific: 23% of contracts to small business, 5% to woman-owned 
small businesses, and 3% to disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone small 
businesses.''
  Women and minority owned businesses generate billions of dollars and 
employ millions of people. They are certainly qualified to receive 
these contracts. A mandatory DOD outreach program would make women and 
minority owned businesses aware of all of the contract opportunities 
available to them.
  I offered two additional amendments that were not made in order that 
would have required the Department of Defense to conduct an assessment 
on the impact changes in their outsource guidelines would have on small 
minority owned business. The Department of Defense must consider the 
potential negative impact proposed outsourcing changes would have on 
small and minority owned businesses.
  We need to help small businesses keep up with their big business 
competition. Right now, the federal marketplace favors big businesses 
and corporations. Small businesses have lost an estimated $13.8 billion 
in business opportunity because they could not fairly compete for 
federal contracts because larger companies are allowed to bundle 
contracts--the practice of accepting ``mega-contracts'' for large jobs 
that only they have the resources to handle on the condition that they 
receive smaller contracts that could have been given out to small 
businesses. For every 100 bundled contracts, 106 individual contracts 
are no longer available to small businesses. For every $100 awarded on 
a ``bundled'' contract, there is a $33 decrease to small businesses.
  Small businesses deserve a fair shot at federal contracts. They have 
a chance to compete for overseas contracts with the Department of 
Defense as well as access to international contracts with the United 
States Agency for International Development. In addition, I believe 
that work needs to be done to modernize key contracting developmental 
programs designed to increase opportunities for women, minorities and 
low-income individuals. Programs like the Outreach Program that I 
support through my amendment. These actions will reduce the current 
barriers and ensure small businesses have access to perform federal 
contracts. This can save taxpayer dollars, because the increased 
competition for government contracts will lead to better prices and 
better quality.
  Currently companies that ship jobs to other countries receive federal 
tax breaks to give them an edge against foreign competition. This means 
that the current tax code encourages companies to move their production 
centers out of the U.S. to save money. It also gives them an unfair 
advantage in competing against small businesses that employ American 
workers and make their goods here.

  I am committed to providing the technical assistance and necessary 
tools small businesses need to break into new markets and sell their 
products abroad. By pursuing fair trade strategies that open markets we 
will ensure a level playing field for American workers and businesses, 
and strengthen critical domestic industries, such as our manufacturing, 
intellectual property, and technology sectors. We want fair trade 
policies that keep jobs here and provide opportunities for American 
small businesses and their employees.
  The vibrancy of our economic prosperity depends on the ability of our 
nation's small business community to adapt to opportunities at home and 
abroad. The skill required to navigate the many regulations imposed by 
the Federal government is essential to maximize any business plan. 
Alliances made between the private sector and government allows small 
business owners to be empowered by the Federal regulatory process and 
not the victim of it. The hearing today will allow for the constructive 
dialogue needed to ensure that all Americans continue to prosper in the 
age of low unemployment and Federal budget surpluses.
  Out Reach programs that are properly designed and implemented, 
strengthen the national community, promote its economic well being, and 
maximize the benefits of our great diversity. The Department of Defense 
should be required to reach out to small minority and women owned 
business to hear their concern and to recognize the important role they 
play in revitalizing our economy.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SHUSTER. I appreciate the gentlelady from Texas offering this 
amendment, and I want to restate what it attempts to do.
  It will prohibit outsourcing of DOD functions until the Secretary of 
Defense conducts an outreach program to benefit women- and minority-
owned small businesses. Well, in fact, it is a duplication of what is 
already in the law. It duplicates section 891 of the fiscal year 2011 
National Defense Authorization Act which requires the establishment of 
an outreach program to firms near DOD installations. This act simply 
delays allowing for outsourcing to come back in and be part of the 
benefits that it provides to this Nation, reducing cost, streamlining 
the process.
  So again, this is already in law. As I said, this is nothing more 
than a delay tactic to stop outsourcing. We need to use outsourcing 
where it makes sense, to utilize the benefits of reducing cost, which 
has the potential to help our small businesses, which I think we all 
support. Whether they are women-owned or minority-owned businesses, 
small businesses are important, and I think outsourcing does that.
  In fact, in my district, Letterkenny Army Depot has public-private 
partnerships today through outsourcing with small businesses and large 
alike. The Heritage Foundation did a study commending what is going on 
at Letterkenny Army Depot utilizing DOD civilians as well as the 
private sector, coming together where it makes sense, where we can have 
a tremendously positive impact on the work that goes there. So there is 
a model out there, and outsourcing is important.
  Again, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment because 
again, it already is established in last year's defense authorization 
bill exactly what the gentlelady from Texas wants to be established.
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. How much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I would like to yield 1 
minute to the distinguished ranking member.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this 
amendment. I think it is a very reasonable request. I think making sure 
that minority-and women-owned businesses are protected is an important 
part of building a strong economy and a strong country, and it is 
reflected in many different aspects of Federal law, to try and make 
sure that opportunities are made available for women- and minority-
owned businesses.
  I will also add that this amendment does not presume that outsourcing 
is harmful to women and minority-owned businesses; it simply wants to 
gauge the effect. It is quite possible the effect is positive, and it 
is going to create an opportunity for them that would not

[[Page H3626]]

otherwise be created. But in making those decisions, the impact on 
women- and minority-owned businesses is an important part of that 
decision, and I believe should be reflected.
  So this amendment is not meant in any way to restrict outsourcing. 
There are a lot of different decisions that have to be made in doing 
that. It just says that when you do that, keep this important 
consideration in mind.
  I urge support for the amendment. I thank the gentlelady from Texas 
for bringing it to the committee's attention.
  Mr. SHUSTER. I agree with the distinguished ranking member, and I 
believe that he supported last year in the National Defense 
Authorization Act section 891, which in fact does what the gentlelady 
from Texas wants to do.
  So again, this is a delay tactic to put outsourcing back on the 
table, back in play, back in part of our toolbox.
  Again, I urge all of my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I hope my good friend from 
Pennsylvania listens to both the distinguished ranking member and 
myself. This is not an amendment that opposes outsourcing. In fact, it 
is an amendment that affirms that outsourcing occurs, and to ask that 
that playing field be even more even by attention being given to our 
small, minority- and women-owned businesses.
  It has been documented that small businesses have lost an estimated 
$13.8 billion in business opportunity because they cannot fairly 
compete for Federal contracts because larger companies are allowed to 
bundle the contracts, the practice of accepting mega-contracts for 
large jobs that only they have the resources to handle--under the 
condition that they receive smaller contracts that could have been 
given out to small businesses.

                              {time}  1730

  I want our small businesses and minority-owned businesses and women-
owned businesses to be in the mix, have an outreach program. There's 
nothing wrong with added leverage of outreach for all our small 
businesses.
  And let me say something else, Mr. Chairman. It is also to say that 
if a small business has a contract and it's hauled back in, it's pulled 
back in, let us assess how that is impacting the loss of jobs. Forty 
jobs, a constituent that came to our attention, Hallmark, lost by 
bringing in the business.
  So by no means is this an opportunity to block outsourcing, and I 
call it contracting out. It is the business of supporting our small 
businesses.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to support this very evenhanded, 
very vigorous amendment to support the hardworking Americans--small, 
women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. I ask my colleagues to 
support the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will 
be postponed.


                Amendment No. 32 Offered by Mr. Andrews

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 32 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 417, after line 7, insert the following (and conform 
     the table of contents accordingly):

     SEC. 941. TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF IMPLEMENTATION AND 
                   ENFORCEMENT OF WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT AND 
                   SOURCING POLICES PURSUANT TO ``EFFICIENCY 
                   INITIATIVE''.

       (a) Temporary Suspension.--During the period beginning on 
     the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date that 
     is 60 days after the first date on which the Secretary of 
     Defense has submitted to the congressional defense committees 
     both the report required in subsection (b) and the 
     certification required under subsection (c), no workforce 
     management and sourcing policies, directives, guidance, or 
     memoranda issued pursuant to the Department of Defense's 
     ``Efficiency Initiative'' may be announced, carried out, 
     continued, implemented, or enforced.
       (b) Report Required.--The Secretary of Defense, acting 
     through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and 
     Readiness, shall undertake a comprehensive review of the 
     workforce management and sourcing policies announced by the 
     Department of Defense pursuant to the ``Efficiency 
     Initiative'' and submit to the congressional defense 
     committees a report that describes alternative policies 
     that--
       (1) ensure performance decisions are based on law, risk, 
     policy, and cost;
       (2) reflect a total force policy that takes into account 
     the strengths and capacities of active and reserve 
     components, civil servants, contractors, and retired military 
     personnel in achieving national security objectives and 
     missions; and
       (3) are consistent with the statutory framework for 
     workforce management and sourcing, including sections 129 and 
     129a of title 10, United States Code.
       (c) Certification Required.--The Secretary of Defense shall 
     publish in the Federal Register and submit to the 
     congressional defense committees a certification that--
       (1) the Secretary of Defense has completed and submitted to 
     the congressional defense committees a complete inventory of 
     contracts for services for or on behalf of the Department in 
     compliance with the requirements of subsection (c) of section 
     2330a of title 10, United States Code; and
       (2) the Secretary of each military department and the head 
     of each Defense Agency responsible for activities in the 
     inventory has initiated the review and planning activities of 
     subsection (e) of such section.
       (d) Comptroller General Review.--Not later than 30 days 
     after the first date on which both the report required under 
     subsection (b) and the certification required under 
     subsection (c) have been submitted to the congressional 
     defense committees, the Comptroller General shall conduct an 
     assessment of the report required under subsection (b), 
     determine whether the Department of Defense is compliant with 
     the certification requirement in subsection (c), and submit 
     to the congressional defense committees a report on the 
     findings resulting from those activities.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. ANDREWS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ANDREWS. One of the questions, Mr. Chairman, that this body and 
the administration often face is whether a certain task is best 
performed by employees of the Department of Defense or whether that 
task is best performed by those working for contractors competing for 
the right to do that business.
  There are two things I know about this issue. The first is that it is 
one we always debate because it's a very difficult one to resolve. And 
the second is that I don't think either answer is always the right one. 
I think any strategy that presupposes that having employees do a job 
isn't right and a strategy that presupposes having contractors do a job 
isn't right.
  I think we've built a bipartisan consensus around the proposition 
that, on a case-by-case basis over time, we should collect evidence and 
decide whether or not a certain function is best performed by employees 
of the Department of Defense or whether it is best performed on a 
competitive contracted-out basis.
  The purpose of my amendment is to address what I believe is an 
imbalance in this evidence-gathering process that goes under the name 
of an efficiency initiative.
  I don't think there's a Member on this floor who would oppose an 
efficiency initiative. But efficiency is not something that presupposes 
that one answer is always better than the others. And I think the 
record shows that we're presently living under an initiative that 
presupposes that contracting out is better than having Federal 
employees perform that function.
  Here's the evidence:
  Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2010, Department of Defense 
services performed by contracting agencies--that is to say companies--
increased from $73 billion in fiscal 2001 to $181 billion in fiscal 
2010. This is an increase of 147 percent, or about 15 percent per year. 
During the same period of time, the cost of compensating Department of 
Defense civilian employees

[[Page H3627]]

grew from $41 billion in fiscal 2001 to $69 billion in fiscal 2010, a 
68 percent increase, or just under 7 percent per year.
  Now, I am not prejudging as to whether the decisions that make up 
those aggregate numbers were all right or all wrong. That would be 
certainly beyond anyone's capability to do. But I think that kind of 
imbalance shows that we're not conducting the kind of careful, fact-
driven, merit-driven evidentiary process that we ought to be following.
  So here's what my amendment does. It says that when our bill is 
signed by the President, that there will be a 60-day period where there 
will just be a timeout, where we will stop the contracting-out process. 
We'll ask the Department of Defense, we'll direct the Department of 
Defense to do two things: to answer the question of whether the 
decisions it has been taking are truly based on the merits and cost 
benefit or whether there are other factors involved. It will then ask 
the Department of Defense to certify that the laws and procedures that 
we set up in the past to make such decisions have, in fact, been 
followed. At the conclusion of that 60-day period, reports will be 
given to the Armed Services Committee and the other defense committees 
of the Congress, and we will collectively review those reports and make 
a decision, in time for next year's bill, what to do.
  So this is an amendment that does not favor contracting out or 
keeping work in the hands of Federal employees. This is an amendment 
that says that we should reflect on the fact that we've had a 147 
percent increase in contracted-out services at the time we've had a 68 
percent increase in the compensation of civilian employees. We should 
pause for 60 days after the bill is enacted, reflect the accuracy of 
that record, and then collectively make a decision for the future as to 
what's best for the country.
  I think this is a reasonable approach to this issue. I would urge a 
``yes'' vote from both Republicans and Democrats.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I appreciate the gentleman's 
amendment and I appreciate his work on the Armed Services Committee. 
He's always very thoughtful and always committed to the national 
defense of our country.
  As I listened to him over and over again, I was agreeing with many of 
the things that he said. I think oftentimes the decisions that the 
Department of Defense has made under the guise of efficiencies have not 
been efficiencies at all. They could have actually cost us more. I 
think, secondly, they have been made without being well thought out. I 
think sometimes they have backfilled their analyses after they made 
those decisions.
  But as I read the gentleman's amendment, basically it would suspend 
all the sourcing and workforce management policies based on all of 
DOD's efficiency initiatives, which is a wide gamut. Mr. Chairman, I 
think that, even though, as I mentioned before, I think oftentimes the 
Department of Defense has been wrong in some of its efficiencies, that 
doesn't mean they've been wrong in every situation. And one of the 
things that I think is a vital flaw in the gentleman's amendment is 
that there's no offset for the amendment to cover the reverse on the 
planned savings. In fact, according to the information I have been 
given, the cost of not implementing these efficiencies could be as much 
as $3 billion. That is off of the top line of the Defense budget. And I 
know the gentleman would agree with me that, at this particular point 
in time, such a huge hit to the Department of Defense would not be in 
the best interest of the national defense of the country.
  So, with that, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will oppose the amendment. I 
hope that I can work with the gentleman and other members of the 
committee so we can make sure DOD gets this right as they move down the 
road. But certainly we don't want to put this kind of impact on our men 
and women in uniform at this time.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 33 Offered by Ms. Lee

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 33 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of subtitle A of title X of division A, add the 
     following new section:

     SEC. 10__. LIMITATION IN FUNDING LEVEL TO FISCAL YEAR 2008 
                   FUNDING LEVEL.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, no funds are authorized to be made available under this 
     division for any account of the Department of Defense (other 
     than accounts listed in subsection (b)) in excess of the 
     amount made available for such account for fiscal year 2008.
       (b) Exempted Accounts.--The accounts exempted pursuant to 
     this subsection are the following accounts:
       (1) Military personnel, reserve personnel, and National 
     Guard personnel accounts of the Department of Defense.
       (2) The Defense Health Program account.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I do intend to withdraw this amendment, but 
I'd like to just say why I offered it and why I think this debate is so 
important.
  We're talking about now trying to address a deficit, which we all 
want to address. We do not want to leave this debt to our children and 
our grandchildren. That's a given. The big issue I think for many of us 
is how do we get there and what do we do? And how do we ensure that we 
have a budget that reflects, yes, our national security priorities, but 
also a budget that protects the most vulnerable in our country and a 
budget that ensures that we have priorities to create jobs and to turn 
this economy around?
  And so I believe that we have to talk about not only discretionary 
spending and entitlement cuts, which the other side is talking about 
and making such an issue of. We have not really talked about the 
Pentagon budget. We have not talked about looking at what it would mean 
if we cut the defense budget back to 2008 as the Republicans want to do 
with regard to our domestic discretionary spending.
  And so what this amendment basically does is just say that if we are 
going to do this, we need to engage in a debate that is honest and we 
need to put everything on the table, and that includes the Pentagon. 
And in fact, we need to begin to look at how we cut back to 2008 
levels.
  We all know that there is waste, fraud and abuse in the Pentagon. We 
still haven't been able to come up with a way to audit the Pentagon 
funds, and so we need to do that. I think we should actually put a 
freeze on defense spending until we know where our tax dollars are 
going and until we know that our tax dollars are being spent in a 
prudent way. We don't even know that because we can't even get an audit 
of the Pentagon.
  We also need to recognize that there are weapons systems that do not 
need to be built because they have nothing to do with our national 
security interests now. I mean, we are out of the Cold War. We are 
looking at asymmetrical warfare. We need to have a research and 
development program and a defense budget that reflects this new world 
that we're in, rather than going back to the Cold War and developing 
these Cold War-era weapons systems. So there are billions of dollars in 
those accounts.
  And so it is just prudent, I think, upon us to really begin to look 
at why, if we're going to start cutting food stamps and Community 
Development Block Grants and housing, and if we start cutting workforce 
training and

[[Page H3628]]

Head Start and health care and all of the areas which the majority of 
the American people rely on as taxpayers, then we need to really look 
at where a huge portion of our budget falls, and that's within the 
Pentagon's budget.
  Also, we again want to talk about reducing the deficit, cutting the 
deficit. There is no way we will even touch this unless we begin to 
look at the defense budget and the Pentagon's budget.
  And so basically, once again, this amendment, what it does is it 
forces us to pause; it forces us to look at what type of savings there 
would be if we go back to 2008 as we want to do with domestic 
discretionary spending.
  Again, I hope that we can discuss this amendment, have this debate. I 
know there are not enough votes to get this passed, but I do know that 
we need to begin this process of looking at and examining the defense 
budget so that the American people can know where their tax dollars are 
going and to recognize that there are billions of dollars in waste, 
fraud and abuse that we need to look at in the Pentagon budget.
  And we need to put all of this on hold and go back to 2008 levels, be 
honest with the American people, and begin to have some real debate 
about deficit reduction, job creation, and the reduction of spending.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I will withdraw my amendment. Thank you for 
the time, and let's hope that we can have a debate on the Pentagon 
budget at some point, a real debate.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from California begs leave to 
withdraw her amendment.
  Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


                Amendment No. 37 Offered by Mr. Richmond

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 37 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 438, after the matter after line 2, insert the 
     following:

     SEC. 1022. PROHIBITION ON PAYMENT OF FUNDS RELATED TO CLOSURE 
                   OF CERTAIN SHIPYARD FACILITY.

       The Secretary of Defense may not make any payments pursuant 
     to section 2325 of title 10, United States Code, to a 
     contractor related to the restructuring or closure of the 
     shipyard manufacturing complex located in Avondale, 
     Louisiana.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentleman 
from Louisiana (Mr. Richmond) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana.
  Mr. RICHMOND. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to ask my colleagues to support an amendment and 
restore fiscal common sense back to government.
  This amendment would save the U.S. taxpayers up to $310 million, 
which would be paid to a private company in Avondale, Louisiana for 
what? For closing. And before we get too far into policy and other 
things, I want to actually read the language of the amendment so that 
the American people can understand exactly what we're doing, Mr. 
Chairman.
  The amendment simply says that the Secretary of Defense may not make 
any payments pursuant to section 2325 of title 10, United States Code, 
to a contractor related to the restructuring or closure of a shipyard 
manufacturing complex located in Avondale, Louisiana.
  Now, many people may say, well, what am I attempting to stop? Let me 
just take a minute and say what's going on here. We have a business in 
Avondale, Louisiana that employs almost 5,000 shipbuilders. They were 
spun off this year. Northrop Grumman received $1.4 billion for this 
company. By the way, Northrop Grumman made $530 million this quarter. 
So the new company, Huntington Ingalls, is closing the shipyard. And 
because they're closing the shipyard, the U.S. Government--the 
taxpayers of this country--will pay them up to $310 million for 
closing.
  That's insanity, Mr. Chairman. And as I met with those employees last 
week, they said, Congressman, we don't know if you can stop it, but the 
offensive part, the part that makes this very hard for us, is the fact 
that our tax dollars are being used to pay our employer who is giving 
us all pink slips.
  So I would just implore my colleagues to save the Federal Government 
$310 million in a time when we're cutting Medicare, in a time when 
we're cutting our children's future, cutting their education, and we're 
not feeding the hungry. So this is an attempt to save $310 million.
  And I would also add to all of my colleagues who have great ideas and 
are looking for a pay-for, I am volunteering $310 million out of my 
district so that we can put back into the Federal Government so that we 
can pay down the debt and do other things. But we do not need this $310 
million going to a private company who made $45 million just this 
quarter for closing.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. AKIN. I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Missouri is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. AKIN. Mr. Chairman, the question involves the Avondale shipyard--
which used to be Northrop Grumman, it is now a part of Huntington--and 
there are essentially three possibilities of what might happen to the 
shipyard. One possibility is that we leave the shipyard there to build 
ships for the Navy. The trouble is that we don't have enough demand or 
we don't have enough money to buy the ships that we would need to keep 
that shipyard busy, which then means that we are trying to build ships 
at a lot of locations where we don't have enough ships to get any 
economic benefits.
  The result of that is it is going to cost the taxpayer and the Navy a 
whole lot more money to keep a shipyard open when we don't really have 
work for the shipyard. So that's one possibility. You could force it to 
stay open; it's going to cost the most to the taxpayer.
  Another possibility is that the shipyard, because of the many people 
that work there, could be retooled and redesigned to use it for 
building other kinds of things other than Navy ships. That would 
preserve the jobs. And the Navy is willing to invest some money--as 
long as it is less than what it would cost to keep the thing open. 
They're willing to invest some money to help with that transition so 
those people won't be unemployed.
  The other thing that could be done is you could just close the 
shipyard down. Now, what this amendment does is it says, well, we're 
not going to allow the Navy to invest in retooling. So it's sort of 
like a dare because it's really begging to have the whole shipyard 
close down and not used for anything else. So it's kind of a gamble to 
try to say, well, we're going to save $310 million and gamble that that 
shipyard is going to stay open. Because the possibility is if you say 
the Navy is not going to invest the money, they may just say, well, 
close it down. Then you would lose all those jobs. So this amendment 
may do the exact opposite of what you are trying to do.
  I would now yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Wittman).

                              {time} 1750

  Mr. WITTMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to also rise in 
opposition to this amendment.
  Passage of this amendment may result in the government being liable 
for the costs of maintaining these idle facilities. If we're looking at 
the total picture here, we want to make sure we are making the most 
efficient decision in right-sizing this industry. And after a thorough 
review and endorsement by the Department of Defense, the contractor's 
plans to wind down ship construction were approved back in 2010.
  This amendment seeks to prohibit payments under existing Federal law 
for restructuring costs associated with the transition of the Avondale 
shipyard. And I want to emphasize ``transition'' is the key word here 
because as the law is currently written, it allows the facility in 
Louisiana to potentially be reconfigured to an alternate use in the 
future.
  So if we want to transition, make sure we are using that yard, using 
the employees there, if we don't have the capacity needed to build 
ships, we want to make sure we can transition.

[[Page H3629]]

  If this amendment were to become law, there is no chance of 
transitioning the Avondale facility to something other than 
shipbuilding, and the government may be held liable for the costs of 
maintaining an idle shipyard. We don't want that. We want to make sure 
that capacity is used in a productive way.
  So simply put, this amendment will not prevent the closure of 
Avondale. And I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  Mr. AKIN. How much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Missouri has 1\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. AKIN. The basic point is that the fact that this is going to save 
$310 million is not true. What this in fact is going to do is to force 
a solution that will be more expensive for the government and not very 
good for the employees down at Avondale either.
  So I have to say along with the Navy and the leadership on the 
committee that we cannot really support this amendment. I think that 
the gentleman had very good intentions of what he's trying to 
accomplish, but I don't believe it's going to work the way he thinks 
it's going to. It's going to probably force a closure and a whole lot 
of layoffs that unnecessarily would not have to happen if we don't pass 
this amendment. So I'm going to oppose it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Louisiana has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. RICHMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  I just want to clear up some things.
  I don't want this shipyard to close, but I want to be crystal clear 
about this. The Huntington Eagles just christened a ship a couple of 
weeks ago; and while they christened the ship with all of their 
employees there, they took the time to announce to their employees that 
we are closing. The 3,000 employees that are here, you will no longer 
be here. We are shutting down. We're closing. It's not personal. It's 
business.
  As much as I don't like it, this is a private business that has 
decided that they are going to close. What I don't want to do is take 
those taxpayer dollars and reward them for closing in the process.
  So when you talk about they can retool or do something in the future, 
Mr. Chairman, I don't want to pretend or mislead the American people. 
They have yet to bid on a shipbuilding contract since they have 
acquired the yard. They have no intentions to build ships there in the 
future.
  As we talk about what they could do with the yard and this may force 
a closure, they have decided that they are going to close. They made 
$45 million in the first quarter of this year. They announced that 
they're not going to bid on ships, they're not going to do anything. 
They're not going to stay open. Why would we give them $310 million of 
taxpayer dollars and then pretend that we're fiscally responsible? It's 
not fiscally responsible.
  The good thing for me is I don't have to go back to my district, 
whether it's Virginia or Missouri, and explain to my constituents why 
I'm fighting to give a company in Louisiana $310 million while I'm 
cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and all of these other 
things.
  I just wanted to clear up the fact that it's not an assumption that 
they're going to close. They already have informed their employees that 
we're closing. Hey, it's been a good ride. Thirty-five hundred 
employees. See you later. Six thousand indirect jobs. We wish we could 
stay, but we've made another decision.
  It is a private company's right to decide when they want to close. 
And I disagree with their decision, but I respect that this is America 
and they have a right to do that. But I have a right to be upset and to 
try to block Federal dollars going to them, and that's $310 million 
going to a company for quitting. That's not the American way, Mr. 
Chairman.
  And I would just ask my colleagues to support the amendment and not 
give $310 million to a company who just made $45 million in 3 months 
that's quitting on the American people.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Richmond).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Louisiana 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 38 Offered by Mr. Mica

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 38 
printed in House Report 112-88.
  Mr. MICA. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of subtitle H of title X, add the following new 
     section:

     SEC. 1085. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED 
                   FORCES DEPLOYED IN DESIGNATED HOSTILE FIRE 
                   AREAS.

       The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the rules of 
     engagement applicable to members of the Armed Forces assigned 
     to duty in any hostile fire area designated for purposes of 
     section 310 or 351(a)(1) of title 37, United States Code--
       (1) fully protect the members' right to bear arms; and
       (2) authorize the members to fully defend themselves from 
     hostile actions.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 276, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Mica) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  First I want to thank the members of the committee for allowing me to 
bring forth this amendment, also the Rules Committee for allowing me to 
have it considered by the House.
  This is a simple amendment, and this is an amendment that I almost 
think I'm offering not on behalf of myself but on behalf of our troops. 
I usually don't get involved in armed services matters, but I did have 
the opportunity to visit our troops in Afghanistan in March of some 
weeks past. And I was out in some of the forward operating positions in 
Afghanistan, and I asked the troops a question--you know, sometimes you 
get a few minutes of quiet time with our troops that are serving us out 
there in those dangerous areas out there. And I said, When I return to 
Congress, what could I do to help you do a better job? What would 
assist you?
  And every one of them said to me, Mr. Mica, could you change the 
rules of engagement?
  So I'm offering this amendment on their behalf and on behalf of all 
the servicemen and -women who should be able to defend themselves in 
hostile areas. I'm not trying to micromanage the military, but I have 
just a basic provision that says--and let me read it: ``The Secretary 
of Defense shall ensure that the rules of engagement applicable to 
members of the armed services assigned to duty in any hostile fire 
area''--and we have a definition for that--``shall,'' and then ``one, 
fully protect the members' rights to bear arms; and, two, to authorize 
the members to fully defend themselves from hostile actions.'' The 
Secretary would set those parameters.
  This is my amendment. I believe that implementing a successful 
calendar insurgency strategy should not come at the cost of needlessly 
increasing American or coalition military casualties.
  If we ask members of our Armed Forces to risk their lives to protect 
the home front, we must do all we can to help them with the material 
and the options and the ability to preserve their lives to fight on our 
behalf in hostile areas.
  Please help me in arming our Armed Forces and also providing them 
with what I believe is the opportunity to adequately defend themselves 
in hostile theaters.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. I will begin by yielding 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
  (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

[[Page H3630]]

  My objection, respectfully, to this amendment is it supplants the 
decision of the commander in the field with the judgment of the 
Congress. I frankly agree that there are very, very few circumstances I 
could imagine where we would not want our troops in the field to be 
fully armed to their complete comfort and satisfaction level. And so 
it's hard for me to imagine a circumstance where that's not the case.
  But it's easy for me to understand a circumstance where the person in 
the field who is charged with the responsibility of achieving the 
mission and achieving maximum protection of his or her troops should 
have the authority to make that decision.
  So my objection to this is not the intent. I think we share it. My 
objection is the fact that the amendment supplants the judgment of that 
commander in the field and replaces it with the judgment we are making 
here thousands of miles away based on facts that we could not possibly 
foresee.
  So although I share the gentleman's intent, for that reason I would 
respectfully encourage the Members to vote ``no'' on the amendment.

                              {time}  1800

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. MICA. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition for a very simple reason.
  As the gentleman said in his opening remarks in favor of the 
amendment, he does not wish to micromanage what goes on in the field. I 
think there can be no more blatant micromanaging than this. Having 
Congress insert itself into the debate about what the rules of 
engagement should be in the field of operations for the military is 
micromanaging in the absolute worst way. We should trust our commanders 
in the field to make those decisions, and those decisions are and 
always will be controversial, both ways, in terms of what the rules of 
engagement should be.
  I will simply make the very clear statement that I want our trained 
commanders in the field to make the decision on what the rules of 
engagement should be in any given environment, not the United States 
Congress. This is not a debate that we should insert ourselves into, 
and I believe that we should defeat this amendment and leave the 
authority with the commanders, where it belongs.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MICA. Let me say that the United States Congress does set the 
policy for engaging in war and hostile actions. The Secretary of 
Defense has clearly given the authority here to provide, again, 
applicable provisions for how this would apply.
  In closing, our troops, our servicemen and -women, should not be used 
at target practice in any hostile theater. They should be given the 
basic right to bear arms and defend themselves.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Committee will rise informally.
  The Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Bishop of Utah) assumed the chair.

                          ____________________