Sunday, November 12, 2006

Now that's more like it

I wrote last week about the sleazy move by Republicans to shutdown "investigations of war profiteering and financial fraud in government contracting" by sneaking it into a huge military authorization bill. Well, according to the NY Times, it appears that the new Democratic Congressional leadership has something to say about that. Finally, some oversight!

Congressional Democrats say they will press new legislation next week to restore the power of a federal agency in charge of ferreting out waste and corruption in Iraq and greatly increase its investigative reach.

[...]

Oversight, the power wielded by Congressional committees to demand information and internal documents and to haul executive branch officials to hearings, by subpoena if necessary, is reverberating through Congress as a Democratic battle cry.

“The unilateral decision made by House Republicans to shut down this critical office should be reversed immediately,” said Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who is poised to become the majority leader.

The House version of the bill will be introduced by Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat likely to take over as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, a member of Mr. Skelton’s staff said Friday. Mr. Skelton also said he would resurrect a subcommittee on oversight and investigations that was jettisoned by Republicans to investigate military spending.

In the Senate, Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is in line to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that seeking a new strategy for Iraq would be his primary focus, but that he would also look carefully at military contracting.

“There have been serious allegations and evidence of misconduct among suppliers,” Mr. Levin said. “And the taxpayers, of course, get socked on that. And the troops are not properly taken care of when that happens.”

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