WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) urged his colleagues today to support legislation to save taxpayers nearly $600 million dollars. The measure (H. Res. 6102), introduced by Congressmen Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the Chairman and top Republican Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces, would allow the U.S. Navy to enter into a multi-year, cost savings procurement contract for the F/A 18 series aircraft.

“Common sense demands that we pass this legislation,” said Chairman Skelton.  “The simple fact is we save millions of dollars by allowing the Navy to enter into a multi-year procurement for the F/A 18 program.”

Under current law, a military service must submit to Congress proof of significant savings in order to enter into a multi-year contract. Because the Navy did not submit this information to Congress for fiscal year 2010, the FY10 National Defense Authorization Act granted an extension to prove significant savings by March 2010. The Navy subsequently submitted the information but missed the deadline by one month.

The Taylor-Akin resolution, which is scheduled for consideration by the House of Representatives today, amends the extended deadline in the FY10 NDAA to account for the late submission. The legislation must be signed into law by the end of this month or the Navy will be unable to finalize the contract, resulting in a loss of nearly $600 million of taxpayer money.

“After the House approves this bill, I urge the Senate to act quickly so the President can sign this measure into law,” said Chairman Skelton. “We have made great efforts to cut waste from the defense budget, and it would be a shame to spend an extra $600 million because of legislative inaction.”