The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed a bill that may expand the Berry Amendment. It approved, by a vote of 417-3, the Implementing Management for Performance and Related Reforms to Obtain Value in Every Acquisition Act of 2010 (HR 5013).
In offering the amendment, Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.) stated, "This amendment is very simple in its intent. For over 60 years, the Berry Amendment has allowed the Department of Defense (DOD) to buy clothing and other apparel materials that are made in the United States when available. There has, in recent years, however, been a list of clothing articles that our soldiers and military personnel are required to purchase that are not provided by the DOD. The DOD does provide clothing cash allowances for these purchase, but the items that are on this list are not necessarily made in the United States."
This amendment would require that the General Accounting Office (GAO) review the items on this list to look at the possibilities and the potential for now making these articles in the United States. The GAO would then meet with the DOD and, within six months, the DOD would be required to get back to the House Armed Services Committee with its findings as to whether or not these articles could be made in the United States under the Berry Amendment.
The bill now goes to the Senate. It is unknown when the Senate will take up the bill.
Reprinted in part from the National Textile Association