WASHINGTON, DC  – Today Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member John McHugh (R-NY), along with Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), announce the signing of a conference agreement on the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009.

A summary of the legislation can be found here.

 “I thank my colleagues for their hard work on producing this important piece of legislation, and I look forward to watching the President sign this bill,” Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) said.  “Reforming the system we use to buy major weapon systems is not only good for taxpayers, it’s good for the security of our nation.”
“Too often under the current system, we end up with too few weapons that cost us too much and arrive too late.  This leads to shortfalls on the battlefield that can cost lives.  That is why it is so important that our defense budget is spent in the most effective ways possible.  While this bill does not mean the end of our efforts to reform the defense acquisition system, it is an important and essential step,” concluded Skelton.
 “Working with our Senate colleagues, we’ve reached a solid final product that builds on the strengths of both bills while ensuring the Secretary of Defense maintains adequate flexibility within his organization,” said Ranking Member John McHugh (R-NY).  “I commend Senators McCain and Levin, along with Chairman Skelton, Rep. Conaway, and Rep. Andrews, for their hard work in producing the final legislation.  Hopefully, both chambers can approve the conference report and move it to the President for his signature within the coming days.” 

 "I applaud Chairman Skelton, Ranking Member McHugh and Rep. Conaway for their leadership on this bill “Likewise, Chairman Levin and Ranking Member McCain should be praised for their vision and leadership on this landmark legislation, which will reform Defense spending and limit Pentagon cost overruns before they spiral out of control.” Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) added.  “The bill’s overwhelming bipartisan support is living proof not only that our legislative process still works but that the well-being of our men and women in uniform must be a priority.”

 “While cost overruns reached $300 billion over the last decade, these wasted funds could have paid America’s troops and provided benefits for their families for more than 2 years,” Andrews concluded.  “I am proud to work with House and Senate leaders on this plan that maintains our national security while limiting undue financial waste and burden on the American taxpayers.”

 “I am pleased that this important piece of legislation was able to be compromised swiftly with our colleagues in the Senate and will now move to the President’s desk after both Houses approve it this week,” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) commented. “This bill will help ensure that Americans are safer by acquiring necessary weapons systems at a reasonable cost, and will reign in unnecessary spending by the Department of Defense. I want to applaud the leadership in both the House and the Senate, as well as Chairman Skelton, Ranking Member McHugh, and Rep. Andrews for their leadership and hard work on making this legislation a reality.”