House votes to delay bulk ammunition purchase by DHS

dhsammunitionFrom, By Pete Kasperowicz –   06/05/13 –  The House late Wednesday voted to stop the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) from entering into new contracts to buy millions of rounds of ammunition  until the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports to Congress on the need  for the ammo, and its cost.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) proposed  an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require the report to  Congress before it can pursue plans to buy 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition.  Meadows said the speed bump is a necessary reaction to news of the huge  purchase, which alarmed many Americans and prompted conservative groups to  suspect that the government was stocking up on the rounds to fight citizens.

“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress  rightfully had concerns and questions,” Meadows said. “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.”

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.
The House considered dozens of amendments to the 2014  spending bill for DHS, H.R. 2217. Two others considered Wednesday night would  delay the implementation of last year’s law that would phase out federal flood  insurance subsidies and put the flood insurance program on a path toward  market-based rates.
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) proposed language  prohibiting the spending of any funds on this law in 2014. Several members said  the language was an attempt to reverse a bipartisan deal on flood insurance  passed last year, but many other members in flood-prone states supported it, and  the House approved it in a 281-146 vote.
Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.)  proposed similar language that would delay increases in flood insurance premiums  in New Jersey and New York, but the House rejected that proposal in a 148-278  vote.
Several other amendments were considered Wednesday night,  from:
— Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), canceling the National Bio- and Agro-defense  Facility in Kansas and moving $404 million to the spending reduction account.  Failed 80-345.
— Jim Moran (D-Va.), prohibiting the use of funds for the  transfer or release of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or other Guantánamo Bay detainees  housed there after Dec. 31, 2005, not those held on or after June 24, 2009. The  date change is an attempt to clarify that detainees held before late 2005 may be  released, not the 9/11 suspects who were shipped there starting in 2006. Failed  165-261.
— Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), prohibiting the use of funds for  random Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspections conducted  outside airports. Failed 180-247.
— Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), prohibiting the  use of funds to pay DHS salaries of officials who approve immigration decisions  for relatives of Brazil. This was an attempt to partially reverse an earlier  decision by the House to strike language blocking immigration from  Brazil due to the country’s failure to extradite a woman who killed her husband,  who was a U.S. Air Force Major. Failed 50-373.
— Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) en  bloc amendments: prohibiting spending to enter into contracts with companies  convicted of crimes or charged in a civil case, or has a delinquent tax bill of  more than $3,000; prohibiting spending that violates the First, Second or Fourth  Amendments to the Constitution; prohibiting spending to buy armed unmanned  aerial vehicles. Passed in voice vote.
— Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.),  prohibiting the use of funds for the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Program.  Rejected in voice vote.
— Doug Collins (R-Ga.), prohibits the use of  funds to process the release of detainees who committed a crime. Passed in voice  vote.
— Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), prohibiting the use of funds for TSA’s  behavioral detection program. Failed 147-279.
— Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.),  prohibiting the use of funds in cities that are sanctuary cities for illegal  immigrants. Passed in voice vote.
— Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas),  reaffirming that DHS has discretion to use federal air marshals on high-risk  flights. Passed in voice vote.
— Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), prohibiting  spending to weaken the 287(g) program allowing state and local officials to  enforce aspects of immigration law. Passed in voice vote.

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