(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) successfully included an amendment to the Senate Weapons System Acquisition Reform Bill (S.454) that would require the Pentagon to notify Congress about the effects that canceling an acquisition program would have on the nation’s industrial base, including Washington state’s aerospace industry. The bill – including Senator Murray’s amendment - passed in Senate by a vote of 93-0.
Murray released the following statement on the bill that will make numerous reforms to the nation’s weapons system procurement process:
“Our nation’s defense programs are over budget, behind schedule, and have rightfully come under scrutiny. That’s because every extra day and every additional dollar spent on these systems is a step backward for our nation’s many other priorities. As we tackle big challenges like fixing the economy, health care, and our energy future, it’s time that we focused on trimming the fat in our defense budget.
“However, this legislation should only be a first step in our efforts to address procurement issues. I strongly believe that we also need to begin a national conversation on how procurement decisions affect our nation’s industrial base, including the aerospace workers that help our military meet their needs. At a time of economic recession, we can’t forget that the Pentagon’s decision are often make or break for a workforce that we must keep strong.
“Acquisition reform must take into account the future needs of our military and our industrial base and ensure that rules limiting cost overruns are enforced. The legislation that we passed today will force the Pentagon to take a new approach to a broken process.”
Senator Murray discussed the importance of her amendment and the need to consider our industrial base in procurement decisions in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday.