June 6, 2013
The House late Wednesday voted to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from entering into new contracts to buy millions of rounds of ammunition until DHS reports to Congress on the need for the ammo, and its cost.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) proposed an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require the report to Congress before it can pursue plans to buy 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. Meadows said the speed bump is a necessary reaction to news of the huge purchase, which alarmed many Americans and prompted conservative groups to suspect that the government was stocking up on the rounds to fight citizens.
“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress rightfully had concerns and questions,” Meadows said. “This is a responsible amendment which ensures that Congress and the American people are aware of the necessity and the cost of ammunition prior to entering into new contracts for procurement.”
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said the amendment was unnecessary, based on his talks with DHS officials. Carter said DHS has since admitted that its ammunition needs are not as great as first reported, and said the department is pursuing a bulk purchase to keep the costs down.