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Lautenberg Measure To Monitor American Assistance In Afghanistan Added To Defense Bill
NJ Sen. Measure Creates Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ReconstructionPress Office (202) 224-3224
Friday, September 28, 2007
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Legislation by U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to establish a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to monitor American assistance in that country was added as an amendment to the FY 2008 Department of Defense authorization bill currently being considered by the Senate.
“Our work in Afghanistan is crucial to our national security and our fight against terrorism. Unfortunately, we have too little information about how U.S. dollars are being spent and whether there is any waste, fraud and abuse. American taxpayers have a right to know that their hard-earned money is being spent wisely, and my amendment will help provide that assurance,” said Sen. Lautenberg.
After a U.S. investment of nearly $20 billion towards the reconstruction and security of Afghanistan, reports continue to surface about a lack of progress. For this reason, Sen. Lautenberg authored the amendment to more closely monitor U.S. assistance to Afghanistan. This amendment was unanimously accepted by the Senate last night.
The SIGAR would uncover information and combat any corruption and mismanagement in U.S. assistance to Afghanistan. It would also ensure that increased American assistance for Afghanistan will strengthen security services, police, and the judiciary as well as foster economic and rural development needs and counter rising poppy production there. The SIGAR will have the power to review all U.S. assistance dating back to 2001 to ensure that programs and projects that the American taxpayer has supported are meeting their objectives.
This bipartisan amendment was cosponsored by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI), Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).