Sanders Files NDAA Amendment Cutting Budget of Audit-Failing Pentagon by 10%

The proposals additionally penalize the company if it doesn’t go one other audit. It has already failed 5 in a row.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has filed amendments to the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act that will minimize the U.S. navy’s historically large funds by 10%, penalize the Pentagon if it fails one other audit, and highlight fraud dedicated by protection contractors.

The Vermont Unbiased’s efforts to rein in Pentagon spending come after the Republican-controlled Home passed its model of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) — however not earlier than loading it with right-wing amendments that will roll again service members’ entry to abortion and gender-affirming care.

The Senate is anticipated to start contemplating its personal NDAA on Tuesday afternoon. As soon as the Senate completes its invoice, the 2 chambers will convention and reconcile the variations.

Sanders’ budget-reduction amendment — backed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) — proposes an $88.6 billion minimize to the $886 billion in complete U.S. navy spending set to be licensed by the NDAA.

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The modification states that “the full quantity of funds licensed to be appropriated by this act is hereby lowered by 10%,” excluding “accounts and funds regarding navy personnel, the Protection Well being Program, and help to Ukraine,” which the U.S. has despatched roughly $46 billion in navy assist over the previous 12 months and a half — a small fraction of the Pentagon’s annual funds.

“The quantity of discount for every account and fund topic to such requirement shall be utilized on a professional rata foundation throughout every program, undertaking, and exercise funded by such account or fund,” the measure reads.

Home Republicans refused to permit a vote on Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) amendment that referred to as for a $100 billion minimize to the Pentagon’s fiscal 12 months 2024 funds.

Sanders has additionally filed amendments aimed toward cracking down on waste and fraud on the Pentagon, which has failed five consecutive audits. One of many senator’s proposals, which has bipartisan assist, would require the Pentagon to return a small portion of its funds to the Treasury Division’s basic fund if it fails an audit “throughout any fiscal 12 months after fiscal 12 months 2024.”

One other Sanders-led amendment would require the Pentagon chief to “undergo the congressional protection committees a report on protection contracting fraud, together with a abstract of fraud-related prison convictions, civil judgments, and settlements over the earlier 5 fiscal years, an inventory of contractors debarred or suspended from federal contracting based mostly on a prison conviction for fraud, and a valuation of contracts affected by fraud.”

In Might, Sanders urged the Pentagon to analyze rampant value gouging by navy contractors after a CBS Information investigation highlighted the extent to which worthwhile non-public corporations are overcharging the Protection Division for weapons and different gadgets.

“Pentagon analysts discovered overcharges that boosted complete earnings to just about 40% and generally as excessive as 4,000%,” Sanders and different senators wrote in a current letter to Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin. “Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and TransDigm are among the many offenders.”

Analysts have estimated that roughly half of the Pentagon’s funds annually winds up within the coffers of personal navy contractors — a development that’s on observe to proceed with the NDAA for fiscal 12 months 2024.

“This invoice continues to double down on militarism and unchecked spiraling funding, an strategy that hasn’t led to a extra peaceable or simply world,” Amelia Kegan, affiliate basic secretary for coverage and advocacy with the Pals Committee on Nationwide Laws, said of the Home-passed NDAA.

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