Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pete Sessions votes to Defund Military Industrial Complex!

Pete Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to co-sponsor John Boehner's bill, H.R. 3571, to cut off Federal funding to "Any organization that has filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency."

The bill was intended as a "de-fund ACORN" measure, but Democrats figured out right away that the broad wording of the bill could also cut funds to a long list of military contractors, effectively defunding the "military industrial complex."

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.
The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 345-75, and the Project on Government Oversight is working on building a database of organizations that have defrauded the government:
At last count, it includes 87 instances of government contract fraud – federal and state – involving 43 contractors. You might want to focus on Lockheed Martin, which has 11 government contract fraud instances, or Northrop Grumman with 9 contract fraud instances including this $325 million False Claims Act settlement from earlier this year.
Bear in mind that, since 1994, ACORN has reportedly received a total of $53 million in federal funds, or an average of roughly $3.5 million per year. In contrast, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman respectively received over $35 billion and $18 billion in federal contracts last year. (Their totals since 2000 are $266 billion for Lockheed and $125 billion for Northrop.)
If you'd like to help Representative Alan Grayson build a list of organizations that have committed fraud against the government, contact him at this link: Help Rep. Grayson Find Fraud (and, yes, they've got Blackwater already).


John Peterson said...

Now we're saving big bucks!


Ah, a guy can wish... I know the bill hasn't actually passed the House, Senate, or been signed by the President. If it did though... that would be something great.

BTW, here is a GovTrack link for ya as your Thomas query expired.



Nancy said...

This should be big news but I didn't see it anywhere this mornign. Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, and it would be a credit to his memory if Republicans and Democrats could work together to push this through. somehow i don't think Boehner, Sessions, and the other co-sponsors knew what they were doing though. BUt I'll do some research to help build the list!

jim said...

this thing will never get out of committee. Don't you know that lobbyists from all the defense contractors on that list are burning up the phone lines today! lol! I added the blimp compay (Jim G. Ferguson Inc) to that guy's list.

Lisa said...

I agree with Jim that it probably won't get out of committee once the lobbyists get wind of it. And to make it a really good bill, they'll have to take ACORN's name out of it, because it's unconstitutional to use a bill against a single named company or organization (I think I learned that on Schoolhouse Rock, lol!!)

If an organization is doing something illegal, the courts are supposed to handle it. But, as we've seen with the defense contractors, that takes a really long time. This bill could take care of the private military contractor situation in a heartbeat. But, like I said, that's why I think it'll go nowhere fast. All the co-sponsors are probably backing off of it even as we speak!!

Nancy said...

Check out all the health care related groups on the list: United Health,Merck, Glaxo Smith Kline, Johns Hopkins, Well Point, Hospital Corporation of America, and a whole bunch of other ones that are lobbying congress to get a piece of the health care reform dollars! lol! There's no way this bill will get out of committee.