Blue Dogs Push for Consideration of War Funding Accountability Bill
Today, the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition called on House leadership to demand greater accountability and fiscal responsibility in Iraq by supporting the War Funding Accountability Act (H.R. 714), a measure introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and endorsed by the Coalition. Recently, the Blue Dogs sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for her support of the bill, which members argue is critical in the wake of President Bush’s request for an additional $46 billion in funding for the war in Iraq.
“Reducing wasteful government spending is a top priority for Democrats, and Iraq and Afghanistan should be no exception,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). “We must do everything we can to ensure our tax dollars are going where they belong - protecting our troops, not lining the pockets of contractors. Under this bill, the Administration must provide Congress with a detailed accounting of how every single contract is awarded so we can ensure they are in the best interest of our troops and the American public.”
The War Funding Accountability Act would require the President to report to Congress 30 days after any supplemental funding measure passes on how military and reconstruction funds in Iraq have been spent. The bill also requires the Administration to provide a detailed accounting of the contracts awarded on behalf of the United States and expresses the sense of Congress that sanctions would be imposed against any contractors who have engaged in fraud, abuse or war profiteering.
“The need for increased fiscal oversight and accountability in Iraq is clear,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “The President has asked for nearly $200 billion in funding for the 2008 fiscal year alone. The taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent.”
“Blue Dog's were the first to offer these ideas and 9 months and billions of dollars later, they need to be adopted,” said Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
“Congress shouldn’t write anyone a blank check,” said Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL). “I have always sought accountability in government, and taxpayers have a right to know that the billions being spent in Iraq are spend responsible.”
“Families in Pennsylvania and across America are frustrated with the fact that billions of dollars and thousands of weapons have gone missing in Iraq while this administration has done nothing,” said Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National and Homeland Security. “We need to replace the rampant waste and fraud with proper oversight and accountability and that’s what this bill aims to do.”