22:01 GMT29 March 2020
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    US Senators Joe Manchin and Ron Wyden, along with Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015 to ensure the US Department of Defense is audit-ready by 2017.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Four US senators introduced legislation to ensure the US Department of Defense is audit-ready by 2017, the office of Senator Joe Manchin, one of the senators sponsoring the legislation, said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “US Senators Joe Manchin and Ron Wyden, along with Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, which would establish strict penalties should the Department of Defense (DoD) not meet its legal obligation to be audit-ready by 2017,” the statement said.

    The Pentagon has been on the Government Accountability Office’s High Risk List for waste, fraud and abuse since 1995, according to the statement, as it has never completed a financial audit.

    “At a time when half the federal discretionary budget goes to military programs, taxpayers can’t afford to give the Pentagon a blank check,” Senator Wyden said in the statement.

    The proposed legislations will sanction the Pentagon with increasing penalties for every passing year, failing to obtain an audit, which can lead to termination of reprograming and transfer authority of funds.

    The proposed defense budget for the fiscal year 2015 is $495.6 billion, $38 billion over the defense spending caps or sequestration. The Pentagon has asked for $115 billion over the spending caps for fiscal years 2016 through 2019 to meet defense requirements, according to Pentagon data.

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    Tags:
    Government Accountability Office, US Department of Defense (DoD), Pentagon, Ted Cruz, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), United States
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