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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I sent an email to Pete Domenici (R-NM) asking for an explanation of his vote. There is always more to a story, especially when it comes to congressional legislation. Personally, anything sponsored by Teddy Kennedy is suspect. I'll post Domenici's response.
Below is an excerpt of the debate on the Senate floor regarding the Kennedy/Bayh amendment regarding up-armored humvees. I hope this is a helpful explanation.
Office of Senator Pete V. Domenici
[Page: S4086] GPO's PDF
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I oppose the Bayh-Kennedy amendment on the uparmored humvees . The validated global war on terror requirement for this is 10,079. I do hope the Senate will listen. This is very serious.
We received a letter last week from two senior Army general officers, the Army's G-8 Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and the Army's G-3 Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, which states the total requirement for these vehicles is 10,079 and that industry will meet that requirement in less than 2 months with funds previously provided.
Keep in mind the pre-emergency throughput of these vehicles was 40 a month. We are now producing at the rate of 550 a month, and we will reach the maximum in June because we paid more to speed up this production.
We appropriated funds and reprogrammed to meet the total requirement. We have now met it. As a matter of fact, we produced 266 more vehicles than the Army wanted. This amendment is not about taking care of troops. I spent my career, and the Senator from Hawaii with me, to ensure the service men and women have the equipment they need, the support they need. This is about the production unit of a defense contractor, not about the people who are wearing the uniform in Iraq.
This manufacturer is currently producing these at the capacity, as I said, of 550 a month. Every month, 550 new humvees are going into Iraq. We will have more there by June than we need. There is no need for this. The sponsors want you to believe the Army wants and needs these, but that is not true. The Army's requirement will be met in June, and we have provided some money for all of them. In Iraq, we are meeting the requirements of the commanders in the field, and they have certified to that.
The additional funding of this amendment was not requested by the Department, and the commanders are receiving other vehicles now, for instance, the Striker, which is a different system and is providing more protection for the people in the field. They are going in there now.
Some people argue the need for these is going up. That is not true. The need for Strikers is going up, and we are sending Strikers in from Germany, from Hawaii, from Alaska, from Seattle. We are meeting the needs they demanded, and that is for the Strikers. This requirement is not increasing with the continued operations in Iraq.
A major difference now is, after February of this year, all vehicles operating outside the protective compound are armored, and we have met that need.
This is an emergency appropriations bill. I believe we should focus on the needs of validated requirements of the Department for the total global war, but this is not one of them.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment. I yield to my friend, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, so he might be heard on the matter. I thank the Chair.