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Legislation to require White House disclosure of military contracting
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a House Intelligence Committee member, introduced legislation requiring the Bush administration to disclose to what degree it relies on private military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“For too long, the Bush administration has relied on guns-for-hire to carry out inherently governmental functions,” Schakowsky said. “Contractors have operated under a veil of secrecy, without a public debate about the nature and scope of their operations.”
- Require the departments of Defense, State, and the Interior and the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide Congress with descriptions of both contractual work performed in Iraq and Afghanistan and task orders in excess of $5 million.
- Agencies also would have to report the number of contractors and subcontractors employed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the total costs of contracts there.
- Agencies would have to inform Congress about the number of wounded and killed contractors as well as disciplinary actions taken by the U.S. government against contractors who break the law.
The legislation has 16 co-sponsors, among them Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and David Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee.
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