Washington, DC, July 18, 2011
- A contingent of 21 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) recommending that the remaining 2012 appropriation bills be "clean bills", free of provisions that inhibit the ability of federal agencies to contract with the private sector, including small business.
The Congressional request comes on the heels of five successful votes in the House striking anti-Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 language from the DHS, DoD, USDA, and Energy and Water Development appropriation bills (H.R. 2017, 2219, 2112, and 2354), and the inclusion of a "Sense of Congress" amendment placing a moratorium on the insourcing of commercial activities to H.R. 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
In the July 14 letter, the 21 House members stated, "We believe Congress should continue to encourage small business and private sector job creation, not protect inefficient monopolies within the bureaucracy. We respectfully urge you to keep similar anti-competition, anti-free enterprise provisions from the remaining appropriations bills."
At least two upcoming funding bills, for Commerce and Financial Services agencies, already reported favorably by House Appropriations Committee, contain language restricting competitions to determine whether private companies can provide commercially-available services more efficiently and at a better value to the taxpayer than government employees.
"We believe Congress should be taking steps to encourage the creation of more private sector jobs, not growing government. This letter respectfully recommends that Chairman Rogers, who has voted all five times to remove the harmful language, to make sure legislative fixes on the floor on future appropriations bills are no longer needed," said John Palatiello, President of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition
(BCFC). Last month, a broad based coalition of 31 national and regional business, taxpayer and free market organizations wrote a similar letter to Chairman Rogers.
In a statement announcing the release of the House letter, Rep. Hayworth said, "The current Administration's insourcing policy is having a detrimental effect on our private sector as our taxpayers' hard earned dollars are being spent on more expensive insourced federal contracts. Hayworth and her colleagues believe that private-public competition must remain in every agency and department throughout the Federal Government. Current government insourcing policies frequently result in higher costs, lower quality, and less support for local businesses."
Among the members of the House signing the Hayworth letter are Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), the author of several of the previous House floor amendments, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), and current and former House Small Business Committee chairmen Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL).
"The will of the House is clear. It is time to prevent these damaging provisions from finding their way into funding bills in the first place. We look forward to working with members of Congress to enact clean legislation, and to lessen the impact adverse government policies, such as attempts to block A-76 cost competitions for commercially available goods and services, are having on private sector job creation, including in small business, and the size and cost of government, the deficit and the national debt. Congress should help implement the "'Yellow Pages' Test" - if a product or service can be found from a private business in the Yellow Pages, the government should NOT be doing it, or at least open the activity to competition from the private sector," said Palatiello.
The Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC) is a national coalition of businesses, associations, taxpayer organizations and think tanks that are committed to reducing all forms of unfair government created, sponsored and provided competition with the private sector. BCFC believes the free enterprise system is the most productive and efficient provider of goods and services and strongly supports the Federal government utilizing the private sector for commercially available products and services to the maximum extent possible.
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