Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement on the enactment of S. 454, the Weapon System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009.   President Obama signed the bill into law today during a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden: 
            “I want to thank President Obama for signing the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act into law today.  Both Congress and the Administration recognize the urgent need to reform defense acquisition, and that consensus allowed us to move quickly so we can start eliminating waste and improving the weapon systems acquisition process right away. 
            “I am extraordinarily grateful to my House and Senate colleagues for their overwhelming support for this legislation.  I particularly want to thank House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McHugh (R-NY) and the members of our Defense Acquisition Reform Panel led by Chairman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Michael Conaway (R-TX) for working with me on our House bill, the WASTE-TKO Act.  The work of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ), both of whom have a tremendous commitment to defense acquisition reform, was also critical in laying the groundwork for this effort. 
            “Defense acquisition is very complex, and we all understand that this bill is just a start.  The new law focuses almost exclusively on major weapon systems acquisition, which is only 20 percent of the total that DOD spends on acquisition on an annual basis.  The other 80 percent of the acquisition system also has serious problems, and the House Armed Services Committee and the Panel on Defense Acquisition Reform will continue investigating further reforms we can make to improve national security and safeguard taxpayer dollars.”