Washington, DC, June 3, 2011– The Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC) applauded the adoption of an amendment yesterday allowing for public-private competitions of commercial activities in the Department of Homeland Security in H.R. 2017, the 2012 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), struck Section 514 of H.R. 2017. Section 514 would have placed a moratorium on A-76 competitions within DHS. The Sessions’ amendment was approved by a recorded vote, 218-204.
In describing his amendment, Rep. Sessions said, “I am pleased that the House has recognized the need for our government to encourage market competition so that we can improve service, lower costs and deliver best services to the American people. By allowing A-76 cost competitions between the public and private sector, DHS can bring the best value to our nation’s hardworking taxpayers regardless of which sector wins the competition.”
“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 M. Palatiello, President of BCFC.
Rep. Sessions added, “During this continued period of economic uncertainty and unsustainable federal spending, Americans are looking to Congress for common-sense, taxpayer-first solutions to reduce the cost of services provided by our federal government. This amendment eliminates the federal government’s monopoly on services at DHS and allows our nation’s free market system to fairly compete.” The entire Sessions statement and floor video of the amendment may be viewed here.
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.