Weapons acquisition reform bill heads to White House

On the heels of the Senate's 95-0 approval late Wednesday, the House Thursday voted 411-0 to pass the conference agreement on legislation aimed at stopping the huge cost increases and schedule delays that have become endemic to major military weapons programs.

The bill now goes to the White House, where President Obama -- who has made defense procurement reform a priority -- is expected to sign it. The measure focuses heavily on tracking weapons more closely during their early development stages to prevent their costs from spiraling out of control.

It creates several new positions within the Defense Department, including a director for developmental test and evaluation and a director for systems engineering. The bill also contains a provision that presumes any weapons program that exceeds costs by more than 25 percent will be terminated.

If the program is not canceled, the bill requires that it be restructured and sent through its last major review again.

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