WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representatives Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, Co-Chairwomen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and 17 of their colleagues today released a copy of their letter to President Bush demanding that Halliburton be suspended from eligibility for any additional hurricane -related or other federal contracts pending resolution of all current allegations alleging waste, fraud, and other contract-related abuses by this company in Iraq and elsewhere.
“It took President Bush nearly five days after Hurricane Katrina hit to mobilize a federal response and relief effort that was even partially effective,” Woolsey noted. “Even then among his first actions were to suspend the applicable labor laws, effectively cutting the paychecks of the American workers involved in recovery and reconstruction of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans (e.g. Davis-Bacon Act). Adding insult to injury, he also awarded a lucrative, no-bid contract to a subsidiary of Vice President Cheney’s old company – The Halliburton Corporation. Yet, there is mounting evidence that Halliburton is guilty of egregious waste, fraud, and abuse of the hard-earned money of the American taxpayers. It is wrong for the President to award Halliburton and its subsidiaries new, sole-source contracts on top of the more than $10 billion that this company has already received since the Bush-Cheney Administration took office.”
“The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the tragic consequences of having an Administration where cronyism trumps competence,” said Lee. “The fact that the President would cut wages for impacted workers, while handing out millions in no-bid contracts to well connected firms is a perfect snapshot to this Administration’s priorities.”