Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Dan Benishek (R-MI) introduced HR 5126, “The Audit the Pentagon Act of 2014” on July 17, 2014.
The new bill is a revised, more moderate version of their earlier bipartisan bill, HR 559, “The Audit the Pentagon Act of 2013”.
The only substantive difference from the old bill is that the spending penalty would be reduced from 5% to 0.5% (one-half of one percent).
The Audit the Pentagon Act of 2014 would slightly reduce spending for any military department or defense agency whose spending the previous year is unauditable. Any savings go to deficit reduction.
The bill would apply to each military department and defense agency separately, leaving unaffected those which pass an audit. For example, the Marines would be held harmless if they could pass an audit while the Air Force was unauditable. This creates an incentive for each service to get its house in order.
Specifically, each year bill would impose a very small (.5%, one-half of one percent) reduction in the Budget Authority of any military department or defense agency that did not have at least a qualified audit (some reservations, as opposed to “clean”) for the previous year.
Within the department or agency, SecDef would have discretion to apply any cuts in manner to minimize effect on national security.
Exempted from any cuts would be certain military personnel and health accounts.