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Marco Rubio: Pentagon Needs to Allow More Competition for Defense Contracts

This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., appeared on “Jesse Watters Primetime” on Fox News to discuss the military’s audit and French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on China.

Rubio said the following on the Pentagon failing its audits:

“We have a big problem in this country, and it’s not just how the money’s being spent. We actually are struggling to make these things. It tells you, in addition to all the money that’s being poured into all the military, we have a military industrial base that’s completely broken. It’s one of the things that they haven’t even told you. It’s become so concentrated in the hands of four or five providers. There’s really only three or four companies in the world that do this stuff. That’s been the case now for years. There’s very little competition on these contracts, so they can virtually charge us anything they want.

“The issue about not having the inventory, I actually heard that for the first time about a month and a half ago. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently it isn’t just the inventory of where all the things that we bought are. In some cases, it’s real estate holdings. What areas are under the Department of Defense’s control?

“Can you really spend a trillion dollars a year and actually do it in a way that’s effective and … across multiple branches? It’s not just the Pentagon, it’s all the different branches [of the military.]

“One of the key things that we need to have an answer to is not simply how the money is being spent. That’s important and so forth. Do our needs for the country in any way reflect how the money that is being spent? Whatever our military strategy is, the spending has to reflect that somehow, and you can’t know that without transparency.”

Rubio said the following on the lack of competition in military contracting:

“We need a next generation fighter, right? [The Department of Defense] puts out the bid, maybe only one or two companies respond to it, and then you start building it. Often times in the process of developing it, they’ll come back and say, ‘Hey, this is going to cost more than we thought … when we offered that bid. So we’re going to have to increase the price. Then if you don’t fund it or you don’t pay for it, then it’s like you’re against national security or national defense. Part of it really comes down to the fact there’s only four or five companies that do this work. Without competition in any field, you’re going to suffer both in quality and obviously in pricing.”

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Rubio said the following on Macron’s comments regarding China and Taiwan:

“If we get in trouble there, apparently [President] Macron doesn’t want to help us. He said France and Europe should walk away from the United States.

“Things are going to get bad. There’s no other way around it. There’s no way we can finish this decade without China trying to do something about Taiwan. I think [China] would prefer to deal without the military and have Taiwan surrender. We should stop pretending we are not heading towards something there.

“If they were to take Taiwan, it’s not just about the small little island off the coast of China. That gives them effective control over all of east Asia. That’s 70 percent of global commerce. They could literally just shut us down. They can just clamp down and close down our economy, like COVID times fifty. It would be a strategic major moment in world history, and not a good one for America.”

Rubio said the following on where the United States needs to be focused globally:

“We need to be focused on building these alliances with Japan, with South Korea, and with all these countries who want to be helpful. The Japanese are very capable. The Australians as well. It doesn’t have to be us alone. All these countries have an interest there. We need to take that seriously. I’m concerned about [President] Joe Biden. If I were the Chinese and Joe Biden is the president, they are probably trying to figure out we need to do this while that guy is still there.”


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