Washington, DC, June 16, 2011– The Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC) today applauded the adoption of an amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives allowing for public-private competitions on commercial activities in the Department of Agriculture.
The amendment to H.R. 2112, the agriculture appropriations bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), struck language that would have continued a moratorium on Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 competitions in USDA. The Sessions amendment was approved yesterday by a 226-199 vote.
In describing his amendment, Rep. Sessions tweeted, “My amendment to the Agriculture Approps bill passed. It encourages market competition so that we can improve service & lower costs.”
“We believe Congress should be taking steps to encourage the creation of more private sector jobs, not growing government. His amendment will 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,” said John Palatiello, President of BCFC.
The entire floor debate on the Sessions’ amendment occurred June 14.
Palatiello concluded, “We commend the leadership of Rep. Sessions. We look forward to working with members of Congress to enact this 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.” BCFC had submitted a letter of support for the amendment prior to the floor vote.
A similar Sessions amendment earlier this month struck a provision in the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that would have prevented potential private contractor performance of commercial activities in DHS. A sense of the Congress provision favoring private sector provision of commercial products and services was added to the Defense authorization bill by Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY).