Democrats, Moderate Republicans Reverse Conservatives' Plan To Eliminate Iraq Inspector General
The Senate approved an amendment yesterday to extend the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office that has unearthed millions of dollars in waste and fraud.
The amendment, written by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Russ Feingold (D-WI), gives the office a one-year extension, through October, 2008.
"That office has been enormously effective as a watchdog," Collins said in an interview with the Associated Press. "It's inconceivable to me that we would allow it to expire prematurely when literally billions of dollars are still being spent on Iraqi reconstruction projects."
As JABBS noted last month, Congressional conservatives had set the earlier termination date at the behest of the Bush administration, presumably to remove the source of a series of audit reports that have been critical of the administration's efforts.
At the time, it was clear that Democrats -- who support such fact-finding missions over empty conservative spin that money is being spent wisely -- supported the inspector general, Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. Senate Democrats backed an amendment written by Collins that would have given Bowen authority over about $6 billion of new funds for Iraq. But that plan was nixed by House Republicans, led by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).