Harry Truman’s tenure in the United States Senate was defined by his work on the Truman Committee, and so when I was elected to his seat in 2006, I felt a special obligation to look at war contracting.
My background as a government auditor also helped drive my interest in this area. My trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Armed Services Committee convinced me that contracting was out of control, and that we needed an investigative committee to focus on the problem.
While President Bush was still in office, Senator Jim Webb and I teamed up to push a bipartisan war contracting commission through Congress. Here’s a recent video of Professor Tiefer on the origins of the commission:
As a United States Senator, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a lot of interesting people. But last week, the opportunity to meet with Aggie Wolf was truly extraordinary.
In 1945, Aggie became one of the first women investigators to be hired by a Senate committee. One of the reasons I was thrilled to visit with her is because she was employed by the Truman Committee, where she specialized in man power investigations. She told great stories about Harry Truman — his leadership, his perseverance, and his penchant for bourbon at the Christmas parties.
She also wanted to obtain a copy of the recently completed report of our war contracting commission. We all agreed that Truman would have a fit about the abuses that have been uncovered, totaling as much as $60 billion. Click here to learn more about the Commission and its findings.
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