Today, Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to bring the Pentagon closer to the audit that it owes to the American taxpayer.
If the Pentagon is worried about the lack of funds for maintaining America’s arsenal, then the solution isn’t to break the nation’s finances, but to stop wasting money on projects which are “too big to fail.” Projects like the F-35, which consistently under-perform and increase in cost.
The amendment requires the Department of Defense to submit a list of the departments and agencies which are most prepared for a comprehensive audit. Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist had this to say about the amendment:
All departments of the United States Government are audited–except the Pentagon. This is not acceptable. If the management of the Pentagon cannot pass an audit–get new management.
At a time when resources are scarce it is particularly important that we audit the Pentagon to reduce waste and the costs of mismanagement.
All Americans who want our nation strong and secure know that step one is to ensure that all available resources are being spent wisely. Every wasted dollar is a cut in our preparedness. An audit is the only way to begin to know how much is misspent.
Representative Burgess also weighed in on his amendment:
As the holder of the purse, Congress has a duty to demand transparency,” Rep. Burgess said. “Our amendment will provide Congress with concrete, concise information as to how close each part of DOD is to achieving the goal. No such list currently exists and Congress to date has not required it. This amendment corrects a crucial missing puzzle piece and allows the Congress to execute a chief governmental function: oversight. –Burgess
In a released statement from Representative Lee’s office, the Congresswoman also addresses taxpayer concerns:
Unauditable is unacceptable. It has been more than two decades since the Pentagon was required to undergo an audit and the Pentagon is still reporting that full audit-readiness is years off. This amendment, which also passed last year, requires a ranked list of all departments and agencies by their audit-readiness status. This list will empower Congress to make decisions on next steps to ensure auditability of the Pentagon,” said Congresswoman Lee. “We need greater sunlight and transparency so the American people know how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent. It’s past time to end waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars in Pentagon spending.
The Pentagon’s books have remained closed for too long, the nation deserves a military establishment that demonstrates a culture of fiscal responsibility and efficiency. Representatives should strongly consider this proposal.