CCAGW Sends Letter to Senate and House Armed Services Leadership Regarding NDAA Provisions | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Sends Letter to Senate and House Armed Services Leadership Regarding NDAA Provisions

Letters to Officials

October 14, 2020

Chairman James Inhofe
Senate Committee on Armed Services
U.S. Senate
Russell Senate Building, Room 228
Washington, D.C.  20510

Ranking Member Jack Reed
Senate Committee on Armed Services
U.S. Senate
Russell Senate Building, Room 228
Washington, D.C.  20510

Chairman Adam Smith
House Committee on Armed Services
U.S. House of Representatives
2216 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515

Ranking Member Mac Thornberry
House Committee on Armed Services
U.S. House of Representatives
2216 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515

 

Dear Chairmen Inhofe and Smith and Ranking Members Reed and Thornberry,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I write to ask for your consideration of several issues relating to the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

CCAGW objects to the provisions of both the House and Senate versions of the NDAA that would eliminate the Chief Management Officer (CMO) position.  The position is vital to restore a semblance of order in the Department of Defense (DOD), the only federal agency to have never undergone a clean audit.  The CMO position has already proven its worth by identifying $22.3 billion in savings between FYs 2018 and 2021.  For example, the CMO identified taxpayer funds being misused to stock a commissary system with items that are of limited interest to customers.  Of the 1.4 million items carried, nearly 1 million produce less than $1,000 in revenue each year, including 23 brands of apple juice.  Eliminating the CMO position, which Congress only created in the FY 2017 NDAA, would hamper efforts to enable more funding to be directed to the nation’s warfighters, and undermine efforts to create a culture of accountability and fiscal restraint within the DOD.

CCAGW opposes adding additional funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) beyond those requested by the DOD.  After nearly 19 years, the JSF is approximately $195 billion over budget and nine years behind schedule.  The total costs for the F-35 are estimated to reach $1.727 trillion over the lifetime of the program.  Of this total, $1.266 trillion will be needed for operations and support.  Despite the many problems, legislators have routinely added funding in excess of that requested by the DOD.  In FY 2020, members of Congress added $2.1 billion to fund the acquisition of 22 JSFs beyond the amount requested by the Pentagon.  Since FY 2001, members of Congress have added 29 earmarks for the JSF program, costing $8.9 billion.

CCAGW continues to oppose the misuse of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.  The OCO was created in response to the 2001 effort to fund the war in Afghanistan and other associated costs of the Global War on Terror, but quickly morphed into a slush fund designed to inflate spending at the DOD far above the baseline budget and for purposes unrelated to military conflicts and interventions abroad.  Over the past decade, members of Congress used the OCO to bypass the spending restraints applied to the Pentagon.  The DOD has received approximately $2 trillion via the OCO since 2001, including $70.7 billion in FY 2020.  Were it considered a federal agency, the funding in FY 2020 would count as the fourth largest, dwarfing spending at all other agencies except the DOD, and the Departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs.

CCAGW also opposes the inclusion of the FedRAMP Act in the NDAA and urges the conferees to remove this language from the final bill.  While CCAGW supported the initial premise of FedRAMP, its current design no longer applies to modern security solutions, and as currently implemented it is unable to address the security implications of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.  Codifying this system into law permanently imposes an out-of-date structure of security assessments on these new technologies, rather than allowing the administration to modernize and streamline the process as these and other new technologies are developed.

CCAGW is concerned about Sections 826 and 830A of the House NDAA and Sections 808 and 5808 of the Senate NDAA, which relate to the acquisition of printed circuit boards (PCBs) for all supply tiers.  While CCAGW understands the desire of members of Congress to restrict or limit items purchased from other countries by imposing “Buy American” requirements on the acquisition of items using these components, limiting the ability for the DOD to purchase PCBs only from sources deemed “trusted countries” is impractical and would undermine the ability of the department to acquire a vast range of products that use PCBs.  Congress should not risk the DOD’s supply chain by imposing unrealistic “Buy American” goals on the products purchased.

When meeting to consider the FY 2021 NDAA, CCAGW asks the conferees to save the Pentagon CMO, eliminate funding for the OCO and additional JSFs, and strike language relating to the FedRAMP Act and “Buy American” provisions.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

Coalition/CAGW: 
CCAGW Letters

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