Congressman Timothy Huelscamp (R– KS) says that the Department of Homeland Security has consistently refused to answer questions from multiple members of Congress about its recent acquisition of weapons, assault vehicles, and over a billion rounds of ammunition.
“I’ve got a list of various questions of agencies about multiple things. Far from being the most transparent administration in the world, they are the most closed and opaque,” said the congressman. “They refuse to let us know what is going on, so I don’t really have an answer for that. Multiple members of Congress are asking those questions.”
New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance (R) has also asked the same questions to no avail. “I would like a full explanation as to why that has been done and I have every confidence that the oversight committee ….should ask those questions,” said Lance, adding that he shared a belief, “that Congress has a responsibility to ask Secretary Napolitano as to exactly why these purchases have occurred.”
The DHS has purchased over 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition during the past year alone. Among the recent purchases of ammunition were orders for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Forbes Magazine reports that at the height of the Iraq war, the military was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for over twenty years.
During a CPAC interview, Congressman Huelscamp spoke briefly about why he voted twice against the National Defense Authorization Act. In question most is the lack of transparency regarding provisions in the bill that allow for the incarceration of Americans without due process.
“I think it’s something that is so constitutionally suspect,” Huelscamp said. “It’s one of those things, if you’re not absolutely crystal clear on a constitutional issue like that, we shouldn’t take those chances.”
“I gather there are folks on the other side who think they covered that. I just don’t think we did a good enough job,” the congressman added. “And based on how hard it was for Senator Paul to get an answer out of the administration, very clearly we need to make it absolutely clear that there are constitutional protections in this country.”
“One of the difficulties I have as a member of Congress is the failure of this administration to provide information on what is actually going on,” Huelscamp said.
“When we take office, we sign an oath to office, but we also sign a little card that says we have access to classified military intelligence, and I’ll just tell you, this administration and prior administrations are not very clear or transparent with the folks that actually control their budget,” added the congressman. “Every member of Congress should know the answers to those questions, and whether or not they can share them.”