Tuesday, September 13, 2005
The Fix Is In for Katrina Reconstruction Work
The Compassionate Conservative taking care of his own. The President has readily waived minimum wage requirements for reconstruction work related to Hurricane Katrina. Who are the beneficiaries? The same group of firms that are making money hands down in Iraq; companies to whom contracts are awarded without bidding process.
What happened ? Has there been a single act of this president, any legislation promoted by this president that remotely helped ordinary Americans ? I cannot think of one but I never bought the "compassionate conservative" spiel back in 2000. Of course, there could be a simple explanation---he didn't have a clue what he was talking about. He just uttered something made up by the handlers who coached him for the debate.
CNN - 9/10/05:
- Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- The Davis-Bacon law requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is conducted. It applies to federally funded construction projects such as highways and bridges.
- Bush's executive order suspends the requirements of the Davis-Bacon law for designated areas hit by the storm.
- Companies winning work include US contracting giants Bechtel and Halliburton. Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, is facing questions for allegedly overcharging on work done in Iraq. The Department of Defense was criticised for awarding Iraq reconstruction contracts to these two companies without competition. Other groups include Fluor and Shaw Group, a Louisiana engineer. The move comes as leading congressional figures express concern over the contracting process.
Congress probes hurricane clean-up contracts (Observer/Guardian)
Bush allows contractors to pay lower wages(Reuters)
Sweetheart deals for Halliburton, KBR and others(CNN)