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House Proceeding 05-13-09 on May 13th, 2009 :: 0:06:55 to 0:13:20
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John M. McHugh

0:06:53 to 0:07:13( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: underlying bill and vote to move it forward to a conference with the senate on this very, very vital matter. i the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of hisime. the gentleman from new york. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume.

John M. McHugh

0:06:55 to 0:13:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John M. McHugh

John M. McHugh

0:07:14 to 0:07:34( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> and i ask that my full statement be entered into the record in its entirety. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> permission to revise and extend. mr. speaker, i, too, rise in support of this very important piece of legislation, h.r. 2101, the weapons acquisition system reform through enhancing technical knowledge and oversight act of 2009.

John M. McHugh

0:07:35 to 0:07:55( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: and i want to begin where thanks are truly due and that is with my good friend, my gished -- distinguished chairman, the gentleman from missouri, mr. skelton, who provided the inertia and the great leadership that putting together the team that has worked so hard to bring this bill to the floor. and in a particular tip of the jersey, mr. andrews, and my

John M. McHugh

0:07:56 to 0:08:17( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: friend and colleague, the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway, for their roles as the chairman and the ranking member he in our special oversight committee. they really have done the work, supported by very abled members as they advanced a great piece of legislation. obviously, mr. speaker, as you heard, we consider this matter

John M. McHugh

0:08:18 to 0:08:38( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: to be of utmost importance. the united states taxpayers deserve to get the most bang for their buck. it's a right to saying but very true -- it's a trite saying but very true. what's more, that's an enormous opportunity cost when major defense systems miss and overrun their budgets.

John M. McHugh

0:08:39 to 0:09:01( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: the government accountability office found that as 2009, the department of defense had as the chairman so correctly stated, some $296 billion of cost growth on just 96 major weapons systems and even if most of this growth is due to poor initial estimates or requirement changesnd not to waste or mismanagement, the

John M. McHugh

0:09:02 to 0:09:22( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: fact remains that the department of defense was unable to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on other planned priorities. it's in the interest of a strong national defense therefore that we in congress do all that we can to rein in cost growth in development programs.

John M. McHugh

0:09:23 to 0:09:43( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: this national security is imperative is also what's driven us to mark up and pass today h.r. 2101 but i would note despite the speed with which this body has moved, the legislation we have before us is a sound, well-crafted product. we have the benefit of feedback from industry, from the department and from members of our defense acquisition reform

John M. McHugh

0:09:44 to 0:10:05( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: panel. and speaking on my own behalf, i believe this feedback has allowed our committee to draft truly a superior piece of legislation. i don't want to be taken wrong here. the senate, the other body, has passed a solid piece of legislatioas well. s. 454. but it's important for the house members to recognize that the

John M. McHugh

0:10:06 to 0:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: legislation we have before us today will take us immediately into conference with the senate and quite likely to the president's desk in just a matter of weeks. which is why we all believe it's all the more important to get a strong vote in support of this bill, to guarantee the voice of the housis heard in this debate, so that this body will

John M. McHugh

0:10:27 to 0:10:47( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: remain on the forefront of ensuring we deliver the right capability to our war fighters at the right time and at the best value. as my chairman, mr. skelton, has indicated this legislation focuses on reforms in the early stage of the acquisition system, requiring the evaluation of alternative solutions at more critical points and oversight earlier in the process.

John M. McHugh

0:10:48 to 0:11:08( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: the focus on earlytage acquisition is vital, as we know, as we heard from my chairman, the since which cause most cost overruns are generally created in the initial stages of the acquisition process. it also increases the level of independent scrutiny major weapons programs receive. not because our program managers are uncapable, but because we

John M. McHugh

0:11:09 to 0:11:29( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: recognize that it's an unfair burden to require program nagers to be both the leading advocate for and an independent evaluater of the program. legislatn also seeks to address concerns we've heard about minimizing bureaucratic and continuing to give the secretary -- bureaucracy and continui to give the secretary of defenls the flexibility he needs to manage his own office,

John M. McHugh

0:11:30 to 0:11:50( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: despite the impressive list of reforms carried in this bill, it really is relatively narrow in scope. some, including "the new york times" editorial board, have criticized us for focusing only on acquisition of major weapons systems stating, and i quote from one of their editorials, unfortunately the house version to be voted on later applies to

John M. McHugh

0:11:51 to 0:12:12( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: only about 20% of acquisitions, end quote. with all due respect to the great lady, maybe $296 billion doesn't sound like a lot of money to the "the new york times," but as i've previously noted, that's just the cost of what runs on these 96 programs. the total planned out lay for those 96 programs is some $1.6

John M. McHugh

0:12:13 to 0:12:34( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: trillion. i have to say that i'm fairly comfortable with taking on reforms to $1.6 trillion in government spending as just a first step this year. in addition, we deliberately narrowed the scope of our bill in order to keep the legislation aligned with the senate and to send this bill to the president as soon as possible. the remaining 80% of d.o.d.

John M. McHugh

0:12:35 to 0:12:56( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: programs will not go unaddressed. truth be told, acquisition warrant force issues and acquisition of services have been addressed in prior year's bills but we will not be staffed -- satisfied on resting on laurels. these issues will continue to be considered by the defense acquisition reform panel which

John M. McHugh

0:12:57 to 0:13:18( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: will carry on with its mandate to consider initiatives that could be addressed by the committee as part of the fiscal year 2011 national defense authorization act. mr. speaker, in closing, i want to re-emphasize that i give my full support to this bill. we owe a great debt of gratitude to those members who worked so

John M. McHugh

0:13:19 to 0:13:21( Edit History Discussion )

John M. McHugh: hard to bring it to the floor today and do so with such a

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