Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and John Mica (R-Fla.) have sent a letter to the administrator of the Transportation and Security Administration John Pistole, demanding answers regarding the $50-million uniform contract the agency sealed just days before the sequester budget cuts  took effect.

First reported by, the TSA awarded the contract to VF Imagewear on Feb. 27, two days before $44 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, began being implemented on March 1.

By Mar. 4, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was warning of long lines at airports due to furloughs at the TSA because of the budget cuts, which are actually reductions in the increase in spending – more money total will be spent in 2013 than in 2012.

“The rationale behind the timing of TSA’s uniform contract and other uncertainties surrounding the contract award raise concerns,” wrote Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Subcommitee on National Security, and Mica, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.

The lawmakers sent a letter on March 28 to Pistole, asking for documents related to the uniform contract and a committee briefing on the issue “as soon as possible.” (Letter to Pistole.pdf)

“Recent news stories state that the TSA ‘agreed on a deal [in February] worth as much as $50 million to buy new uniforms for rank-and-file agents, despite concerns that imminent budget cuts would result in furloughs and 90-minute flight delays,’” Chaffetz and Mica said.

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