Friday, September 21, 2012

McCaskill campaign: Akin protecting tax cuts for millionaires and big oil

(From the Claire McCaskill for Senate campaign)

Todd Akin tried desperately today to deflect attention from his record of opposing efforts to curb wasteful wartime defense contracting, but this is an issue where Akin has no standing against Claire, given her 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.

“Budgets are about priorities, and Todd Akin’s made clear to Missouri that he’ll throw himself in front of a train to protect tax cuts and for millionaires and big oil, and lucrative wartime contracts for big corporations while leaving working families are on their own,” said Erik Dorey McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “When she came to Washington Claire helped to establish the wartime contracting commission that has proposed real, lasting changes that give our troops the equipment they need while protecting taxpayer dollars for Missouri's families. Claire knows that restoring fiscal sanity starts with a balanced approach, while Todd Akin would shut down the federal government and leave Missouri’s families to fend for themselves.”

In contrast to the efforts by McCaskill 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.


McCaskill Has Worked to Eliminate Waste in Government Contacting...

McCaskill and Webb Established the Commission on Wartime Contracting During First Year In Senate. In July 2007, McCaskill joined Sen. Jim Webb to introduce a bill to establish an independent, bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting to study U.S. wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill was inspired by the work of the “Truman Committee,” initially led by Sen. Harry Truman to investigate government waste during and after World War II.  The St. Joseph News-Press reported, “The freshman carved a niche as the senator promoting accountability in the way tax dollars are spent in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” [St. Joseph News-Press, 12/23/07]

Commission on Wartime Contracting Found Up to $60 Billion Wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan. In August 2007, the Commission on Wartime Contracting issued its final report to Congress, which found that between $31 and $60 billion had been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan due to contract mismanagement and negligence. [Commission on Wartime Contracting, Final Report to Congress, August 2011]

McCaskill and Webb Introduced Legislation to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. In February 2012, McCaskill introduced the Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act of 2012 (S. 2139), legislation to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Contracting and reduce waste, fraud and abuse in wartime contracts. [, 112th Congress, S. 2139]
...While Akin Has Opposed Contracting Reform

Akin Opposed Competitive Bidding on Iraq Contracts. In 2003, Akin voted against a Democratic amendment that essentially slapped the White House for giving Halliburton Co., Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, a no-bid contract for oil work in Iraq even before the United States invaded. The amendment required that normal competitive bidding procedures were followed in procurement using funds appropriated for Iraq’s oil infrastructure, even in emergencies. The amendment passed 248-179. [Congressional Quarterly, 10/17/03; HR 3289, Vote 557, 10/16/03]  

Akin Opposed Federal Contracting Reform. In March 2007, Akin voted against the Accountability in Contracting Act (HR 1362), legislation that would limit the time on federal no-bid contracts, require certain agencies to create plans for increasing competition in contract bidding and set up disclosure and oversight requirements for contracts. It would require a federal agency that has awarded at least $1 billion in the preceding fiscal year to develop and implement a plan to minimize the use of contracts using non-competitive procedures and cost-reimbursement. It would require agencies that enter into a non-competitive contract to make public "justification and approval" documents, which must explain why the agency did not use a competitive bidprocess, within 14 days after a contract award. [Vote 156, 3/15/07]

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