Tester bill prevents taxpayer-funded contracts from benefitting U.S. enemies

Bipartisan measure cuts red tape to make America more secure

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is pushing a bipartisan bill to keep U.S. taxpayer dollars out of enemy hands.

Tester’s No Contracting with the Enemy Act of 2011 makes it easier for U.S. contracting officers to cancel a contract if it benefits a U.S. enemy like the Taliban.  Current law does not allow contracting officers to quickly end the flow of funds if they discover that a contract benefits an enemy.

The problem was brought to light by recent testimony from the Wartime Contracting Committee, created by Tester in 2007, which details the extent of waste, fraud and abuse of construction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The testimony indicated that U.S. government contracts are the second-largest source of revenue for the Taliban.

“This is something Congress needs to fix today,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.  “We ought to be doing everything we can to keep American taxpayer dollars and American corporate investments away from people, countries and organizations who are working very hard to do this nation harm. This bipartisan bill is an important step and we can’t afford to sit on it.”

Tester’s initiative is supported by CIA Director David Petraeus, the former head of U.S. military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Petraeus said that suspending contractors and ending contracts that benefit enemies of the United States is currently a “difficult and laborious process.”

Tester’s bill is cosponsored by Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

Tester’s No Contracting with the Enemy Act of 2011 is online HERE.