Thornberry to Unveil Acquisition Reform Bill

Thornberry to Unveil Acquisition Reform Bill

WASHINGTON — House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry next week will unveil legislation that would make some changes to the Pentagon’s buying system.

The Texas Republican told reporters Monday that he intends to introduce the bill by “mid-week” next week, aiming to give members a month to provide feedback before HASC begins crafting its 2016 national defense authorization (NDAA) bill.

The legislation is the product of lengthy committee study of the Pentagon acquisition system, which officials and lawmakers of both parties agree too often churns out weapons far over budget and behind schedule — or leads the services to cancel them. Former HASC Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., set in motion the study and tapped Thornberry to lead it.

The rollout will begin with an event next Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

“That’s where I was in November 2013 when Chairman McKeon asked me to help coordinate this reform effort. And I kind of laid out what we were going to try and do and look at it,” he said. “My thought is to go back there and say, ‘This is what we’ve learned. This is what we’re going to try to do.’

“And then next week I’m going to introduce a bill that is a proposed acquisition reform bill. So it’ll be introduced as legislation,” the new committee chairman said. “And, actually, we’ll have that which is the bill language and also release proposed report language. And then invite comments on it.”

Thornberry wants that feedback in case members “think it’s going to be harmful.”

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