Key Vote Letter on HR 2691
July 16, 2003
TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region, I urge you to support the Sessions-Davis amendment to H.R. 2691, the FY04 Interior Appropriations bill. This amendment would strike Section 335 of the bill, which would bar any competitive sourcing studies at the Department of Interior throughout 2004. If enacted, Section 335 would severely restrict the agency's ability to manage itself and decrease access to the best and most efficient sources for the performance of its commercial activities.
This provision is short sighted, as competitive sourcing creates long-term savings for the Federal government and taxpayers. All relevant studies have shown that the competition process itself, regardless of whether the public or private entity wins, results in savings of 30%. The outright prohibition on its continuation is thus highly inappropriate. The government saves taxpayers billions of dollars by partnering with business, and government investment in these companies helps strengthen our national security. The proposed amendment would protect this mutually beneficial relationship by striking language that would seriously disrupt outsourcing activities within DOI.
The amendment attempts to legislatively weaken the President's authority – any President – to manage the Federal government. It is directly counter to efforts by the Bush Administration to increase government efficiency through competition between the public and private sectors. The competitive sourcing initiative is the keystone of the President's management agenda.
We urge you to support the Sessions-Davis amendment, which aims to protect the cooperative relationship between businesses and the federal government, and provides efficient and cost effective services for our nation's taxpayers. Because of the importance of this issue to America's businesses and consumers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will consider using votes on or in relation to H.R. 2691, the FY04 Interior Appropriations bill.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce