Former Armed Services Chair Ike Skelton Calls for McCaskills Wartime Contracting Overhaul to Become Law
Senator says mounting support is critical ahead of this weeks Senate-House conference negotiations
December 11, 2012
WASHINGTON - Former 17-term Missouri Congressman and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton has sent a letter endorsing U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's wartime contracting reforms, which were recently included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
"This is the most critical week in the six-year long fight to enact these reforms," said McCaskill, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I'm grateful to have Ike's support-he understands our military better than almost anyone and knows how important these reforms are to protecting taxpayer dollars."
The bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Senator Jim Webb (Va.), as well as Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine)-the Chairman and Ranking Republican Member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee-caps a sustained six-year effort by McCaskill to improve oversight, strengthen accountability, and crack down on rampant waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars in wartime contracting.
"These reforms are in the spirit of Missouri's own Harry Truman... and I sincerely hope your wartime contracting reforms are preserved as the House and Senate engage in conference negotiations," Skelton's letter reads.
This week, a committee comprised of members from both houses of Congress will meet in order to work out differences that currently exist between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA. McCaskill's wartime contracting provisions, which are currently in the Senate version of the bill, must be accepted in the bill's final version in order to become law.
McCaskill's landmark legislation builds upon recommendations issued last year by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan-an independent modern-day Truman Committee, created through legislation passed in 2007 by McCaskill and Webb and modeled after President Harry Truman's crusade to combat the wasteful war profiteering that occurred during World War II.
In its final report to Congress, issued after three years of investigation, the Commission found that the U.S. had squandered up to $60 billion through waste and fraud on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The panel identified major failures in contingency contract planning, execution and oversight within the government. McCaskill's legislation is based upon those recommendations.
A copy of the Skelton letter is available on McCaskill's website HERE.
For a complete timeline of Senator McCaskill's work to reform wartime contracting and build on the work of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, click HERE.
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