Senator Puts Wasteful Contractors and Agencies 'On Notice'

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Susan Walsh/AP

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., written off by many political strategists last year as a poor prospect for reelection, has landed the chairmanship of a new and permanent Financial and Contracting Oversight subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel.

“I’m putting every federal agency on notice-- any employee or contractor who wastes taxpayer money, or acts inappropriately on the taxpayer dime, will have this committee to answer to,” McCaskill said in a statement on Wednesday announcing the change.

Beginning in 2009, McCaskill, a former prosecutor and state auditor, led an ad hoc Contracting Oversight Subcommittee that held numerous visible hearings and reported out legislation implementing anti-waste and fraud recommendations from the Wartime Contracting Commission and the special inspectors general for Iraq and Afghanistan. “I plan to carry the same determination from our wartime contracting fight to this expanded effort to root out waste and fraud, protect taxpayer dollars, and bring a new level of accountability and transparency to government,” she said.

McCaskill said her past efforts produced 40 investigations at 22 federal departments and agencies and resulted in the referral of nearly 30 instances of misconduct to federal investigators. Specific issues she focused on include veterans hiring, wasteful conference spending by components of the General Services Administration and mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery. She also worked to boost the role of inspectors general in fighting waste.

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