Last week, I voted in support of the Defense Spending Report Card Act, which would require the Department of Defense to report to Congress on how effectively American tax dollars are spent to achieve defense goals and support our troops, and was disappointed that the House failed to pass this bill. Following a March hearing of the Budget Committee, on which I sit, I wrote Secretary Rumsfeld to urge him to institute better financial management at the Pentagon. For decades, the Defense Department has demonstrated a virtual failure to achieve even the most basic accounting standards. Not one of us begrudges the Defense Department the money necessary to give our troops the tools, training, and equipment they need to do their jobs and come home safely. But no one benefits from a dollar wasted - least of all the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who could have been better equipped or better trained or better protected through smarter use of that dollar. And, it is past-time for us to have a clear tool for discerning the effectiveness of our defense spending.