Dear Speaker Boehner,
We understand that the House of Representatives may consider H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 this week. In a July 11, 2013 letter, Rules Committee Chairman Sessions indicated that the Committee “may …consider a rule that may limit the amendment process” for the bill while at the same time conceding “this is not the traditional process for this bill.” You have indicated several times your preference for free and open debate on the floor. On behalf of our members and supporters we strongly urge you to maintain the traditional open rule and open amendment process for this important bill.
The Defense Appropriations Act is by far the largest of the spending bills, containing more than a half trillion dollars in spending. With the nation $16.7 trillion in debt, lawmakers should be afforded every opportunity to rein in wasteful or inappropriate spending whether it is contained in the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and Homeland Security spending bills – all of which were governed by an open rule – or the Defense spending bill, which apparently may not be.
The nation’s taxpayers deserve a free and open debate on all the spending bills and large pieces of legislation. We strongly urge you to direct the Rules Committee to adopt an open rule for the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Americans for Tax Reform
Cost of Government Center
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
National Taxpayers Union
R Street Institute
Copy: House of Representatives