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 Waxman-Lantos—Iraq spending
Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders
Waxman, Lantos call for 
congressional hearings on
how money spent in Iraq
,  Jan. 31, 2005

U.S. Reps. Henry Waxman and Tom Lantos, both California Democrats, have asked that the House Committee on Government Reform hold hearings into why $8.8 billion in Development Funds for Iraq were not properly accounted for by the Coalition Provisional Authority that had been headed by Ambassador Paul Brenner.

Lantos and Waxman made the request in a Jan. 31 letter to the committee's chairman, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Virg.) following the release of a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction on what it described as "severe inefficiencies" and "poor management" in the disbursement of the funds.  They noted that $8.8 billion "represents two-thirds of the total amount of Iraqi funds expended by the Bush Administration during its tenure as sovereign of Iraq."

The two congressman urged that the Inspector General, Brenner, and North Star Consultants, Inc.,  which provided accounting services, be asked to testify to the committee concerning disbursement practices that the Inspector General's report described as open to the possibility of "fraud, kickbacks, and misappropriation of funds."

They also asked that the Government Reform Committee look into the question of whether the results of the Special Inspector General's study were withheld until after both the U.S. and Iraqi elections for political purposes.

They noted that "five different congressional committees, including ours, are now investigating allegations of impropriety in the U.N. Oil for Food program," the predecessor to the Development Fund for Iraq. (DFI)

"These high-profile investigations have garnered significant press attention, and some members of Congress have called for the resignation of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Given that the Inspector General's report faults the Bush Administration for failing to account for nearly $9 billion in Iraqi funds under DFI, our Committee also has a responsibility to investigate and hold accountable U.S. government officials responsible for these actions.          
Donald H. Harrison