Thursday, August 30, 2012

McCaskill, Webb tout efforts to eliminate military waste, fraud

(From the Claire McCaskill campaign)

Today, Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia visited the Truman Courthouse in Independence to discuss their successful efforts to institute a modern day Truman Committee to root out billions in waste, fraud and abuse in wartime contracts. Fulfilling one of her earliest campaign promises, Claire used her experience of holding people accountable as a former prosecutor and State Auditor to collaborate with Webb to reform no-bid military contracting and uncovered at least $60 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

In contrast to the efforts by McCaskill and Webb to reform wasteful and corrupt no-bid military contracts, Todd Akin voted in 2003 against an amendment to require competitive bidding procedures for all government contracts relating to Iraq's oil infrastructure. His opposition made him complicit in a Republican-majority Congress that failed to use its oversight authority over taxpayer dollars during the early years of the war in Iraq, allowing billions of dollars to be lost as a result of waste, fraud and abuse. 

"Six years ago, I made a promise to Missourians that I'd be a Senator on their side, working to protect their tax dollars and root out the waste, fraud and abuse that was common practice during wartime," said McCaskill. "This Truman-style commission was Missouri common sense that got to the heart of what's wrong with Washington, and because of it, we're enacting real, lasting changes that give our troops the equipment they need while protecting taxpayer dollars for Missouri's families. These investigations certainly weren't popular in Washington, but the end result is a more efficient and accountable government that ensures war profiteers aren't wasting your taxpayer dollars while selling our troops short." 

In 2006, Claire made contracting accountability and protecting taxpayer dollars a lynchpin of her campaign and, through her partnership with Senator Webb, successfully fulfilled her promise of establishing a Truman-style wartime contracting commission during their first year in the Senate. Over the next three years, the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting, established by McCaskill and Webb, held 25 public hearings and conducted more than 1,000 meetings in the U.S., Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait to uncover the scope of the problem and make recommendations for reforms. 

"For too long, our government contracting processes resulted in unacceptable costs, excessive waste, and substandard performance in far too many areas," said Senator Webb. "It took a solid dose of common sense and a lot of integrity to bring an end to this kind of wasteful spending. Over the past six years, Claire has been a senator who has fought tooth and nail to protect tax payers and our troops." 

After his election to the Senate in 2006, Webb joined with Claire to establish the Commission on Wartime Contracting in 2007. Together, Claire and Webb introduced legislation in 2012 to enact the Commission's final recommendations for reforming the government's flawed system of contract oversight into law. 

Sen. Webb, who was was born in St. Joseph, MO, served as a highly-decorated Marine Corps officer in Vietnam and served as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Also on Wednesday, Claire and Webb visited St. Joseph to meet with veterans and discuss their work to pass the Post-9/11 GI Bill into law. 

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