Republican Congressman Jim Leach says Congress should establish a “blue-ribbon committee” to ensure government contracts awarded for Iraq’s reconstruction are on the up-and-up. Leach, who’s from Iowa City, says whenever the government gets involved in a lot of contracting, there’s always a potential of a conflict of interest and excessive charges. Leach has written a letter to the House Speaker, saying a committee to review government contracting could address concerns that the contracts have been awarded to a select few businesses. Leach says in World War Two, a Congressional Committee led by a young Senator named Harry Truman reviewed government war contracts. Leach says in World War Two, everything was about production of goods and today, the contracts are for mostly services. He says a Congressional committee established to review such contracts could send a warning to those who might seek excessive profits. Leach says “over-charging is always wrong, but in times of war it is particularly unseemly.” Leach says revelations about Haliburton’s over-pricing of oil and gas in Iraq deserves investigation and “total and complete public scrutiny.” Leach says the public absolutely must be reassured that their taxdollars are being “honestly spent.” Leach says unfortunately, the public interest seems secondary in this era of corporate greed.
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