While Abercrombie wanted a complete overhaul of the Defense Department's outsourcing policy, he believes the smaller curbs send a signal to the department, according to Slackman. "It's less than what Congressman Abercrombie wanted, but it keeps the issue alive," said Slackman. Slackman added that opposition from the House Republican leadership, and not the Bush administration, led Abercrombie to withdraw his provision. "[The Bush administration] is not what stopped him," said Slackman. "If anything, the pressure from the administration sort of confirmed his own view that he was doing the right thing." The House action removes all but one item that the Bush administration had identified as a deterrent to its competitive sourcing program: Section 333, which would revive an Army study requiring contractors to submit information on the workforce to the Defense Department. The study was halted in June when Defense and the Office of Management and Budget concluded the study had violated federal rulemaking procedures. Late Monday, the administration announced it opposed a measure in the bill championed by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., which would cut 13,000 employees from the Defense acquisition workforce. "This cut would severely damage the quality and cost-management of weapon system programs aimed at ensuring the long-term superiority of America's armed forces," said a release from OMB. The Hunter provision is still part of the Defense bill.
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