Thursday, March 15, 2007

Contractor Accountability - who could possibly object?

Who is objecting to Contractor Accountability, Whistleblower Protection, and Testimony from Valerie Plame?

The purpose of the Contractor Accountability bill is "to improve Federal contracting and procurement by eliminating fraud and abuse and improving competition in contracting and procurement and by enhancing administration of Federal contracting personnel, and for other purposes."

Coming after the scandal of the contracting out of Walter Reed, which was done so poorly and at a higher cost then the government employees who had been working there for decades, the bill had broad support. Only 73 of 433 members of Congress, all Republicans, voted against the bill. Tom Davis and Eric Cantor voted against contractor accountability.

Tom Davis even voted with 190 Republicans against bringing the bill to the Floor for a vote.

The National Association of Govermnment Contractors is for the bill. They're tired of being used as a "piggy bank" for Congressional campaigns.

The Washington Post is for it. When the Democrats first introduced this in 2000, the Post hosted Paul Light, Vice President, Director, and Douglas Dillon Senior at the Brookings Institution. Light said,
"If we're going to have a contract work force, which we surely do, we ought to know what it looks like. Make it visible, understand it, track its movement, and make sure it is the highest quality for the dollar possible. We are increasingly in the business of buying labor through service contracts, but we continue to treat that labor as if it were nothing more than a stick of furniture. Our contract officers need to get smarter, better, and more agile at understanding the difference between buying toilet paper and procuring professional services."
Davis succeeded in attaching to the bill a provision that would prohibit all government agencies from awarding contracts to any institutions of higher learning that deny military recruitment on their campuses. This amendment split the Democrats and united the Republicans. Under current law, the ban applies only to contracts from the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and a few other agencies.

Davis also voted twice with the Republicans to prevent the Whistleblower Protection Act from coming to the floor here and here. It is obvious that the Walter Reed scandal came to light only because of whistleblowers; considering that Walter Reed personnel responded to the scandal by prohibiting employees and patients from speaking with the press, the need for this critical protection is obvious.

Davis is also "clearly unhappy" that Waxman has scheduled testimony from Valerie Plame on Friday, and Davis is trying to close the hearing.

See his Rubber Stamp voting record here.

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