Congressman Sandy Levin : Government Reform
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Congressman Sandy Levin
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One of Congress’ key responsibilities is to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch to ensure that laws are being faithfully carried out, to investigate abuses, and to ensure that taxpayer’s dollars are well spent.

During the last five years, the Congress has failed to meet this constitutional oversight responsibility. For example, the House and Senate have approved hundreds of billions of dollars that the Bush Administration has requested for military operations in Iraq since 2003, yet Congress has not followed up by investigating reports of rampant waste, fraud and abuse that auditors have identified in Pentagon contracts in Iraq. This is not an isolated problem. Congress must do a much better job to make ensure that the Administration is spending money wisely.

Congress must also take action to put its own house in order. Over the last several years, there have been a string of scandals involving Members of Congress going on golf trips to Scotland paid for by lobbyists; dead of night votes on bills stuffed with special interest provisions; and unprecedented political access given to corporations and lobbying firms. These abuses of power have deep roots in Congress and must be reformed.