Fiscally Responsible Republicans?

It seems that Congress has succeeded in making sure that there will be no real accounting for the tax dollars in spent in Iraq. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Senate last week approved $109 billion in additional spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $1.5 billion in added Iraq reconstruction money. The administration has spent $20.9 billion to reconstruct Iraq's infrastructure and modernize its oil industry, but the effort hasn't restored the country's electricity output, water supply or sewage capabilities to prewar levels.

A behind-the-scenes battle among legislators has made a crucial distinction between the new reconstruction money and that already spent: The new funds won't be overseen by the government watchdog charged with curbing the mismanagement that has overshadowed the reconstruction.

The administration's main vehicle for rebuilding Iraq has, in the past, been designated "Relief and Reconstruction" funds, which by law are overseen by a special inspector general, Stuart Bowen. The new money going toward similar reconstruction goals will be classified as coming from "Foreign Operations" accounts. The State Department is responsible for spending both pools of money.

By law, Mr. Bowen can oversee only relief and reconstruction funds. Because the new money technically comes from a different source, Mr. Bowen, who has 55 auditors on the ground in Iraq, will be barred from overseeing how the new money is spent. Instead, the funds will be overseen by the State Department's inspector general office, which has a much smaller staff in Iraq and warned in testimony to Congress in the fall that it lacked the resources to continue oversight activities in Iraq.
That's right. Having heard testimony that the State Department's auditors wouldn't be able to do the job, Congress specifically chose them to audit money being spent in Iraq. Halliburton, are you listening? You can stop pretending now.

On a related not, George W. Bush wants Jeb to be president.

No comments: