What’s The Cost of Doing Business With The Senate?

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , ,

The cost of doing business with the Senate appears to be 20 percent.  At least that’s the number the Senate Armed Services Committee has given the Air Force as a must-hit bogey to be able and block buy (advanced procurement) two AEHF satellites, AEHF-5 and 6.  In other words, the deal has to save 20 percent or it’s no-deal.

I’m thinking the Senate is loathe to give up any funding control so the deal has the relatively high 20 percent savings requirement.  The Air Force has already said the AEHF advanced procurement would be expected to save 10 percent, so twice the savings is unlikely in the extreme.

Even then, the 20 percent requirement means nothing unless it makes it out of the Senate, is reconciled, and signed into law (funded).  The chances of that?  Don’t hold your breath.  At all:

House authorizers and appropriators supported the notion of buying the fifth and sixth AEHF craft under a fixed-price contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif. But they were not willing to provide advance appropriations. The Senate Armed Services Committee likewise authorized funding for only a single year.

The fifth and sixth satellites would constitute the block buy, but with no advanced appropriations from the House and the Senate only providing possible advanced procurement funding for a year (that’s some sort of oxymoron), the AEHF block buy idea won’t happen.  Still, it gives a fig-leaf of meeting the Air Force part way as opposed to the House, who ‘supports the notion,’ but not enough to write it into draft law.  On the other hand, legislative miracles sometimes do occur (but I think the last known one was in 1776).

Happy Fourth of July and GBA! 

Buy the t-shirt at Zazzle.


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