TPA Releases Analysis of Amendments to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

David Williams

May 21, 2014

The House of Representatives is debating H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is providing members of Congress and all Americans with a guide on specific amendments and how members of Congress should vote. The guide is simple: the amendment number; the sponsor(s) of the amendment; a description of the amendment (text was taken directly from the House of Representatives website); and the correct way to vote.  As an added feature, TPA has flagged some of the amendments with “Vote No! (Earmark Alert)” as potential earmarks. TPA takes a clear stand on these proposed amendments and makes clear whether they are beneficial to taxpayers or not. It is time for Congress to take steps to ensure that the Department of Defense (DoD) is given the necessary tools to defend the nation and not use this legislation yet another means to waste taxpayer money. TPA will continue to monitor these amendments as the bill makes its way through the House, Senate, and eventually conference committee.

Amendment #1. McKinley (WV)- Prohibits funds for this Administration to conduct it’s anti-fossil fuel climate change agenda, which includes the National Climate Assessment, the IPCC report, the UN’s Agenda 21, and the Social Cost of Carbon. VOTE YES!

Amendment #3. Welch (VT), Gardner (CO)- Encourages the Air Force to consider identified energy efficiency improvements in a timely and comprehensive manner. VOTE YES!

Amendment #6Shimkus (IL)-Delays relinquishment or agreeing to any proposal relating to the relinquishment of the responsibility of NTIA over Internet domain name system functions by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information until GAO submits a report to Congress on the role of the NTIA with respect to the Internet domain name system. VOTE YES!

Amendment #7. Walz (MN)- Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct an audit of the Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy office of the Department of Defense by the end of 2016 and expresses the Sense of Congress that a full audit of the entire Department of Defense should be completed by the end of 2017. VOTE YES!

Amendment #8. Polis (CO), Blumenauer (OR)- Prohibits funds from being used for the Navy to carry out the refueling and complex overhaul of the U.S.S. George Washington and strikes $483,600,00 in funding for that purpose; states that the amount reduced shall not be used for any purpose other than deficit reduction. VOTE YES!

Amendment #13. Heck, Denny (WA)- Creates a program that give military communities that suffer from significant traffic problems caused by base population increases to compete for $200 million in grants to improve transportation infrastructure, from buildingVOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #14. Kildee (MI)- Allocates $10 million to develop additional financial literacy training programs for incoming and transitioning service members, which would be funded by offsetting the $15.1 billion shipbuilding account and a $902.2 million nuclear weapons refurbishment account.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #15. Jenkins (KS)- Creates a moratorium on the insourcing of previously contracted activities within DOD. Exceptions would be made (1) if the activity was “inherently governmental”, and thereby should never have been contracted out in the first place; and (2) if DOD would employ a “reverse A-76” to itemize specific costs saved to the taxpayer should the DOD be able to perform the commercial activity more efficiently for the taxpayer. VOTE YES!

Amendment #24. Blumenauer (OR)- Requires CBO to update, on an annual basis, their report on the projected costs of U.S. nuclear forces. VOTE YES!

Amendment #26. Brooks (AL), Rogers, Mike (MI)- Expresses the Sense of Congress that defense funding should be spent on defense purposes. Fences 50% of funding for National Ignition Facility until the Administrator for Nuclear Security certifies that none of the funds authorized by this Act will be used to subsidize, support, or otherwise contribute to clean fusion energy research and development. VOTE YES!

Amendment #28. Hastings, Doc (WA)-Restores $20 million of the proposed cut to defense environmental cleanup. VOTE NO!

Amendment #31. McKinley (WV), Napolitano (CA)- Increases the National Guard Youth Challenge Program under Civil Military Programs by $55 million and decrease by the same amount the Office of the Secretary of Defense- Operations and Maintenance. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #34. Bishop, Rob (UT)- Provides authority to the military services in working with civic organizations to charge the public a nominal fee to attend a military-sponsored Air Show or Open House on military bases, to help off-set the O&M costs the base incurs during these times of defense sequester reductions. VOTE NO!

Amendment #35. Swalwell (CA), Meehan (PA)- Requires the Department of Defense to allow military musical units to accept assistance from private entities for the benefit of said units. VOTE YES!

Amendment #37. Griffith (VA)(MN)- Requires DOD to fulfill former Sec. Gates’ Efficiency Initiative relating to the number of general and flag officers by reducing approximately 3 3 positions through attrition by the end of2015. VOTE YES!

Amendment #49. Bonamici (OR), Walden (OR)- Requires the Secretary of the Army to evaluate potential cost savings and potential effects on the National Guard’s recruitment efforts of the requirement, effective January 1, 2014, that all service members wait one year after training before becoming eligible for the Army’s tuition assistance program. VOTE YES!

Amendment #50. Maloney, Sean (NY)- Increases the authorization for Impact Aid by one additional year. VOTE NO!

Amendment #59. Farr (CA)- Designates the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense joint outpatient clinic to be constructed in Marina, California, as the “Major General William H. Gourley VA-DOD Outpatient Clinic”. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #68. Israel (NY), King, Peter (NY)- Expresses the sense of Congress in support of public- private partnerships to enhance DOD efforts on mental health care for service members. VOTE YES!

Amendment #72. Speier (CA)- Directs the Secretary of Defense to implement the recommendations of the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee to prioritize prevention and increase the study of chemical and physical factors in breast cancer. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #73. Mulvaney (SC)- Maximizes competition in design-build contracts. VOTE YES!

Amendment #74. Connolly (VA)- Amends section 4202 of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 to make the authority to use simplified acquisition procedures for certain commercial items permanent. VOTE YES!

Amendment #75. Meng (NY), Walberg (MI)- Requires GAO to conduct a study on the effects of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative on small businesses. An agency’s justification of a strategic sourcing solicitation shall be published prior to the issuance of a solicitation. VOTE YES!

Amendment #78. Cardenas, Tony (CA)- Establishes an outreach and education  program to educate small businesses contracted by the Department of Defense on cyber threats and develop plans to protect intellectual property and their networks. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #80. Poe (TX)- Establish the Sense of Congress urging the Secretary of Defense to make a reasonable effort to make certain military equipment returning from abroad (that he determines to be excess) available to State, Federal, and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of strengthening border security along the international border between the United States and Mexico. VOTE YES!

Amendment #82. Speier (CA)- Allows women-owned small businesses to receive sole-  source contracts under the same terms as other small business contracting programs and accelerates the disparity study to assess industries in the women-owned small business procurement program.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #85. Nugent (FL)- Provides statutory authority to implement the  Secretary of Defense’s recommendations to reorganize the personnel accounting community of the department. This amendment will reduce duplication of effort between the existing Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) and the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC). VOTE YES!

Amendment #86. Speier (CA)- Requires the public release of any IG reports  that find misconduct for senior executive service (SES) officials, political appointees, and general and flag officers that rank 0-6 or higher level. VOTE YES!

Amendment #87. Burgess (TX), Lee, Barbara (CA)- Requires a report ranking all military departments and Defense Agencies in order of how advanced they are in achieving auditable financial statements as required by law. VOTE YES!

Amendment #88. Takano (CA)- Requires the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress, no later than 30 days after enactment of this law, on the barriers to implementing audit reporting requirements and recommendations to ensure reporting deadlines are met. VOTE YES!

Amendment #90. Ross (FL)- Prohibits the Department of Defense from using taxpayer funds to provide additional or upgraded recreational facilities for detainees at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. VOTE YES!

Amendment #98. Braley (IA)- Directs the President to submit to Congress a report on the long-term costs of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. VOTE YES!

Amendment #104. Posey (FL), Miller, Jeff (FL)- Establishes the Sense of Congress that the Air Force should assess feasibility, costs, savings, and readiness implications of utilizing contractor-owned and operated very light jet aircraft for interim flight instruction until permanent replacement enters service. VOTE YES!

Amendment #108. Lewis, John (GA)- Requires the Secretary of Defense– in consultation with the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis– to post to cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to each American taxpayer on the Department of Defense’s website. VOTE YES!

Amendment #110. Meng (NY)– Requires a regional office to carry out certain steps if it doesn’t meet the 125 day goal of backlog claims; and requires the Under Secretary for Benefits to explain how the failure of the regional office to meet the goal affected the performance evaluation of the director of the regional office. VOTE YES!

Amendment #120. Nolan (MN)- Provides auditing and inspecting guidelines for new construction projects in Afghanistan in excess of $500,000 that cannot be physically inspected by authorized civilian personnel. VOTE YES!

Amendment #138. Mulvaney (SC), Murphy, Patrick (FL)- Codifies criteria developed by OMB in 2010 to clarify when military spending should be designated as contingency operations and properly be part of the Overseas Contingency Operation budget. VOTE YES!

Amendment #139. Walberg (MI), Cohen (TN)- Prohibits any new funds for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund until previously appropriated funds have been fully expended. VOTE YES!

Amendment #147. Polis (CO), Nadler (NY)- Urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct successful operationally realistic tests before purchasing additional ground-based missile defense interceptors. VOTE YES!

Amendment #157. Connolly (VA), Issa (CA)- Amends titles 40, 41, and 44, United States Code, to eliminate duplication and waste in Federal information technology acquisition and management. VOTE YES!

Amendment #159.Franks (AZ)- Increases the amount authorized for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, line 30, by $99,000,000 and decreases two other lines equaling $99,000,000. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #161. Kildee (MI)- Allocates $20 million for a private study to identify challenges confronting the DoD’s care of wounded warriors and offer recommendations to improve it, which would be funded by offsetting the $15.1 billion shipbuilding account and a $902.2 million nuclear weapons refurbishment account.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)