Congressman Jim Leach is sponsoring legislation patterned after a special effort led by former President Harry Truman when Truman was a U.S. Senator. Leach’s bill would establish a new House committee that would oversee the government contracts that’re being handed to private businesses involved in rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan as well as military contractors. Leach says public support for the U.S.-led effort to rebuild the countries will fade if the government bidding process isn’t honest. Leach’s proposal is patterned after the so-called Truman Committee that was established in 1941 and headed by Harry Truman. The Committee investigated World War II contracts and Leach says the Truman Committee prevented private companies from raking in excessive profits during wartime. Leach says billions of dollars worth of taxpayer dollars were saved by Truman and other Committee members. Leach wants a new, modern-day committee studying government contracts to ensure that no public official is on the take, or the contracts are in any way helping to “launder” money for illegal drugs or arms dealers. Truman gained national prominence as chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. It was one of the reasons President Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his Vice President in 1944.
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