Waxman Committee Urges Scrutiny of Blackwater's Employment Practices
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are after Blackwater again, this time in relation to the private security firm's compliance with federal tax, small business, and labor laws. Blackwater's controversial practice of treating its employees as "independent contractors" first surfaced last October, shortly after company founder and CEO Erik Prince testified before Waxman's committee to account for a Blackwater team's involvement in an unauthorized shooting in a Baghdad traffic circle that killed 17 and wounded 24 others. Since then, Waxman's staff has been looking into the applicable federal laws and has apparently concluded that Blackwater may be in violation.
Today, Waxman sent letters to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao (.pdf), IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff (.pdf), and Small Business Administration Administrator Steven Preston (.pdf), urging the officials to probe Blackwater's compliance with their respective agencies' rules and regulations.
More after the jump . . .