Washington Watch: Senators introduce bill for war contracting commission

This afternoon, a handful of first-year Senators, all Democrats, will introduce a piece of legislation the Institute has long supported: the creation of a new "Truman Commission" to oversee the staggering sums of money spent on war contracts.

Here's the announcement:

Washington, DC - On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., Senate Democratic freshmen will introduce an amendment to the pending defense authorization bill to establish an independent, bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting to investigate U.S. wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Commission will significantly increase transparency and accountability, as well as generate important solutions for longstanding, systematic contracting problems. This legislation would expand the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction's responsibilities beyond Iraq reconstruction to all wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Government Accountability Office reported that between fiscal years 2003 and 2006, the U.S. government has allocated more than $300 billion to support stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq alone. This increasing reliance on contractors exposes extraordinary levels of taxpayer dollars to potential misuse and waste.

The Commission on Wartime Contracting was inspired by the work of the "Truman Committee," which conducted hundreds of hearings and investigations into government waste, saving American taxpayers more than $15 billion (1943 dollars)

It worked during World War II, why not do it now -- when it's needed even more?