One-Third of Wartime Contracting Funds Wasted

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Hey, members of the Super-Duper Committee looking to cut a grand deficit-reduction deal, if you’re looking for wasteful spending to remove from the federal budget, give Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) a call. This just in from her office:

KANSAS CITY – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will discuss the findings today of a two-year inquiry into wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. McCaskill will make the announcement via phone at 11:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 a.m. CT from her offices in Kansas City.

The U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting, created by McCaskill and inspired by President Harry Truman’s commission on war profiteering in World War II, discovered rampant waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the contracting apparatus. The Commission found that at least $31 billion and as much as $60 billion has been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan to date and that much more will be wasted in the future without significant changes to the way the government plans, awards, and oversees contracts.

The new report provides a blueprint for addressing these failures of contracting including specific recommendations. McCaskill intends to develop legislation based upon these recommendations. The Commission was created through legislation spearheaded by McCaskill and U.S. Senator Jim Webb (Va.); it passed with broad bipartisan support.

Instead of slicing funding for, say, food safety programs, weather satellites, medical research, health care, or education, perhaps the SDC can squeeze tens of billions of dollars in waste out of this sloppy system. It’s just a thought.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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