Skip to Content

Ayotte "Never Contract with the Enemy" Legislation Receives Key Endorsements

Commander of Forces in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Express Support

Apr 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced this week that legislation she authored - the "Never Contract With the Enemy" Act - has received key endorsements from General Joseph Dunford, commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, and Stuart Bowen, Jr., the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). The bill, which Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is cosponsoring, would help federal officials more quickly cancel contracts that are allowing U.S. taxpayer dollars to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

The legislation would expand and enhance successful provisions Ayotte and Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) included in the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that gave Pentagon contracting officials in the Central Command area of responsibility the ability to more expeditiously sever ties with contractors who funnel taxpayer resources to those who oppose the United States.

During a hearing last Tuesday, General Dunford endorsed the legislation and testified that it will be "critical" that the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have the same authorities to cancel contracts as the Department of Defense (DoD) so that we "don't contract with the enemy." General Dunford continued, "Expanding that [authority] to include non-DoD organizations makes a lot of sense."

Also last week, Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, made the following statement regarding the legislation: "In Iraq, SIGIR documented many contracting problems that reportedly involved our tax dollars falling into the hands of the enemy. Much progress has been made on improving contingency contracting, but we must take action to enhance existing legislation and reduce these vulnerabilities. The Ayotte-Blumenthal ‘Never Contract with the Enemy Act' (S. 675) sensibly embodies such action. The Congress should enact this legislation, which would help all federal agencies serve as better financial stewards and improve the protection of our national security interests."

Senator Ayotte said, "I appreciate these critical endorsements, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward quickly. We must ensure contracting officials in all federal agencies have the tools they need to prevent our tax dollars from ending up in the hands of our enemies."

With the U.S. government engaging in a large number of contracts around the world to promote our interests, the Ayotte-Blumenthal legislation seeks to reform the Federal Acquisition Regulation to give federal contracting officials the tools they need to terminate or void contracts that are directly or indirectly benefitting America's enemies.

Under current law, the Pentagon has the authority to void contracts that are benefitting our enemies in Afghanistan - but Defense Department contracting officials outside of the Central Command area of responsibility and all other federal government contracting officials do not. The Never Contract With the Enemy bill would improve the nation's contracting policies by allowing officials across government to more expeditiously stop contracts that have been found to benefit our enemies.

Please Contact Kelly at One of Her Offices

Manchester Office
1200 Elm Street, Suite 2
Manchester, NH 03101-2503
Phone: 603-622-7979
Fax: 603-622-0422
Map: Get Directions
Nashua Office
144 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Phone: 603-880-3335
Map: Get Directions

North Country Office
19 Pleasant Street, Suite 13B
Berlin, NH 03570
Phone: 603-752-7702
Fax: 603-752-7704
Map: Get Directions

Portsmouth Office
14 Manchester Square, Ste 140
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone: 603-436-7161
Map: Get Directions

D.C. Office
144 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-3324
Fax: 202-224-4952