Letter on S. 2943, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017"

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 2:00pm


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the
interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state
and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and
defending America’s free enterprise system, urges you to consider the following
recommendations as you prepare to consider S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2017.”

The Chamber commends the Committee’s leadership in reporting a strong, bipartisan bill
that accomplishes a range of budget and policy objectives that would enhance the ability of the
nation’s defense industrial base to support U.S. national security interests while remaining
competitive at home and abroad.

Specifically, the Chamber fully supports Section 829H, which would limit the impact of
the Executive Order 13673 “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” to those contractors who have been
suspended or debarred within the last 12 months, thereby not burdening responsible contractors
with substantial compliance costs and reporting requirements. This provision is essential to
ensure that DOD and its contractor workforce would not be forced to create duplicative and
costly new bureaucratic management systems. Moreover, section 829H would streamline
implementation of Executive Order 13673 by relying on, and preserving, DOD’s existing
suspension and debarment due process.

Additionally, the Chamber strongly supports S. 248, the “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act
of 2015,” which is expected to be offered as an amendment by Senator Moran. The Chamber
urges you to support this amendment, #4066, which would respect and promote tribal
sovereignty by affirming the rights of tribal governmental employers to determine their own
labor practices on their own lands by amending the National Labor Relations Act to exempt
tribal governments like any other public employer.

Lastly, the Chamber urges against adoption of amendments to prohibit so-called inverted
U.S. companies from bidding on military contracts. Enactment of such provisions could reduce
overall competition for federal contracts while simultaneously placing at risk the jobs of
American workers who provide goods and services to the Department of Defense. Debarring
contractors who are in full compliance with U.S. law undermines the principles of “full and open
competition” and best value for the taxpayer that have been the longstanding cornerstones of
DOD procurement policy.

The Chamber appreciates your consideration of these recommendations as you consider
S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.”


R. Bruce Josten