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Bernie Sanders Confronts Defense Contractor Fraud

Eric Dolan Raw Story

Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor Wednesday urged lawmakers to make the Pentagon fight against defense contractor fraud as they debated the National Defense Authorization Act.

“This country has a record breaking deficit and a $15 trillion national debt,” he said. “What many people do not know is that one of the reasons our deficit is as high as it is, is because there is a significant amount of fraud from defense contractors who sell their products to the Department of Defense.”

The Pentagon paid more than $1.1 trillion during the past decade to 37 contractors that had defrauded the Department of Defense, according to a report released in October. Another $255 million went to 54 defense contractors convicted of hard-core criminal fraud in the same period.

“I think the American people are very clear that when we pay a dollar for a product that goes to our military, we want to get a dollar’s worth of value,” Sanders continued. “That we do not want to see the taxpayers of this country or the Department of Defense ripped off by fraudulent contractors.”

Sanders has proposed an amendment to the annual defense bill that would require the Pentagon to step up its efforts to fight fraud and submit annual reports.

“What this amendment does is tell the DOD, ‘get your act together,’” he said.

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