House Passes Three Tierney Amendments to Defense Authorization Act
Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed three amendments authored by Congressman John Tierney, Ranking Member of the National Security Oversight Subcommittee. The proposals amended the National Defense Authorization Act and passed by voice vote.
"These common sense amendments, supported by both my Republican and Democratic colleagues, will better inform Congress and our country about the status of our nation's security; and make certain programs are more efficient and less wasteful," Congressman Tierney said.
Earlier this week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, requested by Congressman Tierney, which found better oversight is needed over foreign police assistance, a program that has received an estimated $13.9 billion during the fiscal years 2009 through 2011. In response to the report, multiple congressional hearings and news reports of waste and fraud, one of Congressman Tierney's amendments will push the National Security Council to create a plan to make this inter agency program more cooperative and cohesive.
Congressman Tierney spoke on the House Floor in support of his amendments earlier today. A copy of remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows.
Statement of Congressman John Tierney
As Prepared for Delivery
May 18, 2012
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of three amendments. I want to thank Chairman McKeon and Ranking Member Smith for their support of my amendments and for including them in the en bloc amendment.
These amendments are a great example of areas where we can work together, on a bipartisan basis, to better inform this body about the status of this nation's security; hold the administration accountable for the goals they have set; and make certain programs more efficient and less wasteful.
During hearings that I held on this issue as Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, it became clear that we have numerous programs run by several different departments, with no coordination; no cohesion; and no development of best practices. Only recently has the National Security Council begun to coordinate efforts, but they have yet to complete their work. A GAO report that I commissioned made two specific recommendations: 1) that the NSC complete its efforts to define agency roles and responsibilities; and 2) that the Secretaries of Defense and State establish mechanisms to better share and document information among various U.S. agencies. My amendment simply requires the administration to adopt these recommendations, and tell Congress how it plans to do so ensuring that these programs are streamlined and not wasteful.
The second amendment that I want to address will require DOD to annually update Congress on the status of the targets listed in DOD's ''Operational Energy Strategy: Implementation Plan." The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy was created to strengthen the energy security of U.S. military operations. The mission of the office is to improve capabilities, cut costs, and lower risk to our soldiers and our nation, and the "Operational Energy Strategy: Implementation Plan" will guide these efforts.
For the Department of Defense, these technologies are about saving lives. In Afghanistan, the U.S. loses one soldier for every twenty fuel convoys, and over 3,000 resupply convoys are expected in 2012 alone. As Army Secretary John McHugh has said "[a]nything we can do to take a convoy off the road is a good thing."
These technologies also allow DOD to focus its funding on protecting our soldiers and our country, not on more oil. For every $1 increase in the price of oil, DOD spends an additional $100 million dollars. We simply must stop throwing this money away. My amendment will ensure that DOD is held accountable for these laudable goals.
My third amendment will require the DOD to submit to Congress a report assessing the manufacturing industry of the United States as it relates to the ability of the United States to respond to both civilian and defense needs. As our manufacturing jobs have moved overseas in the last thirty years, our ability to respond to national crises has been diminished. But I believe that we can come together to help reverse these dangerous trends. With the right tools and the right information, this country can continue the growth in manufacturing that we have seen in the last two years. My amendment would give this body the information it needs to make an informed judgment on how best to continue to strengthen American manufacturing, and ensure that the nation is secure and prepared to respond to any crisis.
I thank Chairman McKeon and Ranking Member Smith again, and I yield back the balance of my time.