Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and John Mica (R-Fla.) have sent a letter to the administrator of the Transportation and Security Administration John Pistole, demanding answers regarding the $50-million uniform contract the agency sealed just days before the sequester budget cuts took effect.
the TSA awarded the contract to VF Imagewear on Feb. 27, two days before $44 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, began being implemented on March 1.
By Mar. 4, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was warning of long lines at airports due to furloughs at the TSA because of the budget cuts, which are actually reductions in the increase in spending – more money total will be spent in 2013 than in 2012.
The oversight committees are asking the TSA if “any consideration” was made to delay the uniform contract in light of the impending sequester.
In addition, Chaffetz and Mica want to know: the total anticipated value of the contract; if it includes a “Buy America” provision; the current uniform allowance for TSA employees; how much the TSA has spent on uniforms per year since 2010; and what percentage of the uniforms are made in the United States.
“[S]ome reports indicate that VF Imagewear’s uniforms are partly made in Mexico,” Chaffetz and Mica said.