WASHINGTON D.C. – Over the past year and a half, the Department of Homeland Security has put forth solicitations for nearly 2 billion rounds of various ammunition over the next few years. Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to stop DHS from entering into new contracts for purchases of millions more rounds of ammunition until they provide reports to the Congress on the cost and need for ammunition.
“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress rightfully had concerns and questions,” said Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC), who proposed an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require that they submit a report to Congress before following through with their plans to purchase 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition.
“This is a responsible amendment which ensures that Congress and the American people are aware of the necessity and the cost of ammunition prior to entering into new contracts for procurement,” he said.
The Hill reports,
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said the amendment was unnecessary based on his talks with DHS officials. Carter said the department has since admitted that its ammunition needs are not as great as first reported, and said the department is pursuing a bulk purchase to keep the costs down.
Carter also rejected speculation by some that there are ammunition shortages around the country because DHS is buying it all, and said the Meadows’s language would interrupt the regular procurement process at DHS. But Meadows pointed out that his amendment would not interrupt current Homeland Security contracts to buy ammunition. The Meadows language passed late Wednesday night in a 234-192 vote.
Though the measure passed, it will still have to be approved as an amendment to the larger DHS related bill. Once that happens, it would have to be approved by the Senate and then signed by Barack Obama.
In the U.S. Senate, Jim Inhofe (R-OK), introduced a measure called the AMMO (Ammunition Management for More Obtainability) Act. The Ammo Act would make the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on what he believes is a strategic ammunition hoarding by the Obama administration.
The Ammo Act would place limits on purchases.
Inhofe believes the Obama administration will do anything to push its gun control agenda and back in April, he told Laura Ingraham “We just denied everything that this president and the vice president are trying to do. So what are they going to do if they want to, if they want to violate our Second Amendment rights? Do it with ammo.”
Obviously there should be some oversight by the Congress on these kinds of purchases and they should hold the Executive Branch accountable. After all, that’s why there is a balance of powers.