Waxman Hits Collins on Iraq Oversight

Representative Henry Waxman (D-California), Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was in Maine today to join the Tom Allen campaign in accusing Susan Collins of neglecting her duties as Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Waxman and Allen held press conferences in both Bangor and Portland today, where they discussed waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq.

From a campaign statement:

Sen. Susan Collins was Chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the chief oversight committee of the U.S. Senate from 2003 through 2006. She held the power to call war profiteers like Halliburton and KBR to the carpet, and she was asked repeatedly by her colleagues to do so. At least 10 requests were made by letter. Additional requests were made verbally. She repeatedly refused.

The reason is simple: she was and is a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq and the Bush-Cheney policies regarding Iraq and contractors.

As Chair, Senator Collins was duty-bound to hold these hearings in the interest of taxpayers and troops.

Her refusal to hold hearings and expose the waste, fraud and abuse allowed contractors to reap profits at the expense of taxpayers and troops. Estimates are that up to $23 billion have been subject to waste, fraud and abuse. Our troops were subjected to substandard services, some of which even caused death or physical harm.

That's a tough charge, and one that Rep. Waxman is in a unique position to make. He's been the point man on questioning abuses in Iraq and has been holding official hearings since the democrats gained the majority in 2007.