U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released the following statement on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The annual funding bill provides critical resources for national defense, military readiness and support for the nation’s service members.
“National defense is the number one responsibility of the federal government, and ensuring our military efforts receive appropriate resources is critical to the safety of our country. This legislation also includes a well-deserved pay raise for members of our armed forced. I will continue to conduct robust oversight to help cut wasteful military spending while also ensuring our men and women in uniform have everything that they need to perform their mission,” Grassley said.
Grassley introduced an amendment to the FY 2020 NDAA legislation that would have increased transparency by requiring the DOD to report to Congress on contracting practices, specifically on the sole source spare parts contracts for which the DoD is unable to obtain accurate cost data. This amendment is a product of Grassley’s continuous oversight work on overpriced spare parts purchased by the DoD. The NDAA as passed by Congress includes similar language requiring the GAO to report on the DoD’s efforts to secure reasonable prices in contracts.
Grassley also sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees urging them not to adopt a House provision in the FY 2020 NDAA that would have restricted audit firm transparency requirements that are already in effect. That provision was ultimately not included, and the law requiring audit firms to report all disciplinary proceedings to the DoD will remain in place.
Earlier this year, Grassley sent a letter to then-Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan asking for more information about how the DoD contracts with businesses and other entities in overpricing, specifically citing TransDigm. Additionally, Grassley asked about DoD’s process to collect cost data from those entities and how Congress can help DoD to stop price-gouging practices. Grassley also critiqued DoD’s contracts with TransDigm in a floor speech and an op-ed. He recently sent a follow up letter to Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, seeking an update on how DoD is confronting TransDigm’s costly contracting practices.
Grassley has been a watchdog against waste, fraud and abuse at the DoD for nearly four decades. Grassley’s extensive oversight work throughout his career has included a dogged pursuit for answers from the Pentagon over decades of wasteful spending and its inability to produce a clean financial audit. Read his most recent statement on another failed audit here.