(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2547-E2548]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                           HON. RAHM EMANUEL

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, December 8, 2003

  Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise with Representatives 
DeFazio, and DeLauro as original cosponsors to introduce the War 
Profiteering Prevention Act of 2003. This is an identical companion to 
legislation introduced by Senators Leahy, Clinton, Durbin and 
  This bill closely resembles an amendment that I offered during 
consideration of the Iraq reconstruction bill. Unfortunately, the Rules 
Committee declined to allow debate on my amendment, which would have 
established tough criminal penalties for individuals who defraud the 
government involving contracts related to the war or reconstruction of 
  As the government begins to spend the roughly $20 billion 
appropriated for rebuilding Iraq, it is essential that we protect these 
funds from waste, fraud and abuse. To that end, the War Profiteering 
Prevention Act establishes a maximum criminal penalty of 20 years in 
prison and fines up to $1 million for war profiteers and cheats who 
exploit the postwar relief efforts.
  Unlike most nations where we send foreign aid, there is no 
functioning government in Iraq. While I believe the Coalition 
Provisional Authority is doing the best it can, it simply does not 
maintain the manpower necessary to adequately monitor reconstruction 
funds. Regrettably, a handful of politically connected corporations, 
including some with scandal-ridden business records, are taking 
advantage of this situation.
  While anti-fraud laws protect against wasteful spending here at home, 
there are no such laws prohibiting war profiteering overseas. In 
response, my bill criminalizes overcharging taxpayers for any good or 
service with the specific intent to excessively profit from 
reconstruction. The legislation also prohibits fraud

[[Page E2548]]

and false statements in any matter involving a contract.
  We need strong disincentives for those who defraud taxpayers. These 
controls must be in place now because criminal statutes cannot be 
applied retroactively. We cannot in good faith ask American families to 
sacrifice for postwar reconstruction and then allow so many others to 
unfairly profit at their expense.
  Mr. Speaker, we must send a clear message that cheating U.S. 
taxpayers is completely unacceptable and will not go unpunished. For 
these reasons, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the War 
Profiteering Prevention Act of 2003.