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June 21, 2024

Schweikert Amendments for Using AI to Audit Pentagon Pass House

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2025, a crucial piece of legislation, has recently passed the House. It includes amendments, spearheaded by Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ), that are of utmost importance. These amendments mandate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to audit the Pentagon, a move that is both timely and necessary.

At the beginning of May, Rep. Schweikert spoke on the House floor, highlighting the Department of Defense’s inability to produce a clean audit, meaning it could not adequately account for its spending data.

“Why do we tolerate that? Why isn’t this Body losing its mind over something like that? Just from a national security standpoint, how do you know if maybe they need more, maybe they need less, maybe we have too much of something? We don’t know!” the Arizona Congressman said.

As a result, Rep. Schweikert introduced two amendments to the NDAA related to using AI for auditing purposes. Amendment 985 requires the Secretary of Defense and Inspector General of the DOD to develop such an AI to audit the Pentagon, making the process much easier.

The second amendment, Amendment 1010, is equally significant, and requires the Undersecretary (Comptroller) of Defense to annually report on how AI and similar systems could save money within 90 days of its enactment. This reporting requirement could potentially uncover significant cost savings, a crucial aspect in the efficient management of the Department of Defense’s budget.

“We’ve just passed year six where the Pentagon has been described as functionally un-auditable. What if we thought creatively and allowed AI to help us identify what we actually have in our DOD inventory? We ought to protect the American taxpayer, but also protect our national defense by knowing what we own, and what we don’t own?” Schweikert asked in his press release.

The passage of these amendments follows a similar victory for Representative Eli Crane (R-AZ), whose amendments to the 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill protecting veterans’ gun rights passed the House.

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