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Congressman Ro Khanna

Representing the 17th District of California

RELEASE: Rep. Khanna Stresses Government Accountability in FY 2018 Defense Spending Bill

June 28, 2017
Press Release
NDAA Looks to Improve Procurement Transparency and Address Hidden Monopolists

Washington, DC – During House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal year 2018 (FY 18) defense spending bill, commonly known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) addressed ways that government spending can be more accountable and encouraged competition among the defense industry in an effort to keep contracting practices in the public’s best interest.
 
Rep. Khanna worked to secure a provision in the bill that directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study of Department of Defense (DoD) procurement processes “to determine the identities and cost structures of contractors, potential abuses by companies of such processes, and means of improving such processes to improve transparency in commercial acquisitions by the Department of Defense.”
 
“Hidden monopolists with unreasonable prices should not be doing business with the federal government,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Competition should be valued when companies want to work with our military and defense infrastructure. I am hopeful that the DoD will take beneficial steps to report on these harmful business practices to Congress.”
 
In March, Rep. Khanna and other members of Congress sent letters to the Defense Department Inspector General asking for an investigation into the business practices of aerospace company, TransDigm Group. News reports indicated that TransDigm may be operating as a “hidden monopolist” and more information must be made available to the public on the company’s business practices. The DoD Office of the Inspector General replied to the congressman on June 27 and said it would initiate an audit.
 
During NDAA markup, Rep. Khanna introduced the following amendments that were approved by the committee:
 
Cost-Benefit analysis of Afghan military or security forces uniform specifications — This amendment would not only improve the effectiveness of our allies in Afghanistan by providing them with climate-appropriate camouflage, but also save the taxpayer around $70 million, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
 
Assessment of design trade options of the W80 warhead — This amendment would require the Office of the Cost Estimating and Program Evaluation (CEPE) for the National Nuclear Security Administration to conduct an independent review of the cost estimates options and a cost-benefit analysis for the small, nuclear thermonuclear warhead called the W80. 
 
Authority of Chief Operating Officer of Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) to acquire and lease property — This legislative change would allow the AFRH to use the same leasing method utilized by other federal agencies. It increases the opportunity for generating significant revenue while mitigating risks as the AFRH moves closer to be self-sustaining.
 
He also cosponsored amendments brought forth by other Democrats that would allow for better access to birth control for military servicewomen (FAILED); deemed climate change a national security issue (PASSED); would make it easier for the military to be in touch with individuals following discharge via email (PASSED); and improve how the DoD reports to Congress on cybersecurity issues (PASSED).
 
The NDAA now moves to the full House for debate and passage. The NDAA now moves to the full House for debate and passage. Read the FY 18 NDAA Chairman's Mark Summary (PDF).
 
About the Office
 
Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.