Welch, Schrader Introduce Bill to Declassify $125 Billion in Pentagon Waste Report

Press Release

Date: March 2, 2017
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Defense

Just days after the President proposed a $54 billion increase to defense spending, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) and Congressman Peter Welch (VT-AL) introduced the Department of Defense Overhead Cost Savings and Transparency Act which would declassify the entirety of a report from the Pentagon which revealed $125 billion in administrative waste. The Pentagon commissioned the report in 2015 and subsequently covered up its findings. The report lays out suggested ways to cut through bureaucracy and obsolete technologies at the department, ultimately saving $125 billion over five years in administrative waste.

"It's just irresponsible and rash to add $54 billion more to our defense spending when we already have $125 billion in the Pentagon's budget that can be spent more resourcefully," said Rep. Schrader. "Rather than inflating what appears to be an inefficiently allocated budget, we should be focused on ensuring our courageous servicemen and women have all of the resources they need to be safe and successful. Throwing more money at an entire agency does not equate to our troops getting those needed resources. We need to be smarter about the way we spend and not just spend more. It's our duty in Congress to make sure taxpayer money is being used wisely, and that we are keeping our troops well supplied to serve our country, keep us safe, and defend freedom around the world."

"Taxpayers have a right to know what is in this report, especially at a time when President Trump is proposing a dramatic increase in an already bloated Pentagon budget," said Rep. Welch. "Our legislation will put a bright spotlight on wasteful defense spending. The Pentagon doesn't need more money, it needs more transparency."

This bill calls on the Department of Defense to release the report in full to Congress and provides for expedited consideration of legislation to implement the report's recommendations to cut or reallocate excess in their spending. This approach will reduce waste and hold the Pentagon accountable, while finding smart ways to use our tax dollars. Congressman Schrader first introduced this bill in December 2016 after the Washington Post first reported on the cover up.