Providing for Consideration of H.R. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year and Providing for Proceedings During the Period From May Through June 2018

Floor Speech

Date: May 23, 2018
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Alabama for yielding me this time. He is one of the great leaders in this Congress, and it is an honor to serve with him.

Mr. Speaker, I have always heard that many government agencies spend roughly 60 percent of their budgets within the first 11 months and then scramble around during the last month trying to spend the rest of their budget so they won't be cut for the next year.

I think we should do what we can to incentivize more government employees to come up with cost-saving ideas. That is why I introduced, along with Mr. Polis from Colorado and Mr. Jones from North Carolina, an amendment to the NDAA which will do just that. It will give all military personnel even more reasons to be creative in how to save costs.

I am pleased that my amendment, which has been made in order en bloc, directs the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on the military's existing incentive programs for cost-saving ideas. This amendment will also include a report on how the Secretary plans to expand and streamline those existing programs to better reward military personnel who help the Department of Defense to be more efficient.

We need to be good stewards of the taxpayers' money and should do everything we can to ensure that our military's funding is used wisely and used where it is needed most.

I introduced a bill several times many years ago to give Federal employees bonuses for half of any money that their agency or their department can save. This amendment hopefully will move us in that direction.

On a side note, I do want to say that I believe the American people are really sick and tired of our spending hundreds of billions on a very unnecessary, no-win war in Afghanistan now 17 years old. I am disappointed that this bill continues that funding instead of bringing our troops back home.

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