White House may veto bill over PMA measures

Congressional opposition to a number of items on the President’s Management Agenda may lead President Bush to veto a fiscal 2006 spending bill.

In a White House statement of policy, Bush administration officials objected to a number of provisions in the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the Treasury, Transportation and independent agencies appropriations bill, which lawmakers are now debating on the House floor.

As part of the committee markup, lawmakers voted to strike $2.6 million in funding for creating a new governmentwide personnel system. Implementing civil service reform has been high on the list of presidential management priorities. Lawmakers also placed limits on cross-agency contributions to e-government initiatives.

Administration officials also oppose two anti-competitive sourcing amendments being offered on the House floor, including one by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that would prohibit agencies from using a revised Office of Management and Budget circular that governs competitive sourcing.

The past two years Van Hollen has offered identical amendments. Both times they were approved by the House but stripped out during conference committee.

Another amendment, offered by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), would reverse the results of a competitive sourcing bid at the Federal Aviation Administration, which Lockheed Martin won earlier this year.

“If the final version of the bill were to significantly erode the PMA, the president’s senior advisers would recommend he veto the bill,” according to the statement of policy.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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