Years-Long Fight to Restore Confidence in Government by Rooting Out Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Culminates in Senator Becoming Ranking Member on Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations—Formerly Led by Harry Truman

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Contact: Sarah Feldman (print) or Anamarie Rebori (broadcast) – 202-228-6263 

McCaskill Named Democratic Leader of Former ‘Truman Committee,’ Taking Party’s Top Spot on Congress’s Leading Oversight Panel

Years-long fight to restore confidence in government by rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse culminates in Senator becoming Ranking Member on Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations—formerly led by Harry Truman

WASHINGTON – In 1941, as the U.S. military struggled with pervasive war-profiteering, then-Missouri U.S. Senator Harry Truman launched the “Truman Committee”— judged as one of the most effective oversight efforts ever executed by the U.S. government, saving American taxpayers billions of dollars. The Truman Committee exists today as the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Senate’s most powerful body for investigations and oversight—and this week, Missouri’s senior U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill was named the top Democrat on the panel.

As the highest-ranking Democrat on the permanent subcommittee, McCaskill—who holds the Senate seat once occupied by Truman—will help shape the agenda and lead the investigations of a panel with broad and oft-used subpoena power.

During her first term in the Senate, McCaskill waged a successful six-year battle to rein in wasteful wartime contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ultimately passed into law the most expansive reforms to wartime contracting practices since World War II. The legislation grew out of her campaign promise to continue Truman’s legacy of guarding taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud, and abuse of power.

“Missourians—and all Americans—want to know their government and the private sector are operating efficiently and effectively, and playing by the rules,” said McCaskill, a former prosecutor and Missouri State Auditor. “I’ve spent a career confronting waste, fraud, and abuse, and I’ve never shied away from a fight, either in the courtroom or the hearing room. This panel’s investigative power, which began with Harry Truman himself, has given us one of the most powerful and effective platforms to ensure accountability in the government and the private sector. I’m honored to carry on Harry Truman’s legacy, and to work alongside my friend Senator Portman to achieve these shared goals and strengthen Americans’ confidence in their federal government.”

Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio will chair the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. McCaskill and Portman have previously worked closely together on a number of issues, including their bipartisan Federal Permitting Improvement Act, a bill aimed at cutting through federal red tape and expediting job-creating infrastructure projects. The Senators also collaborated on bipartisan proposals to improve oversight of the security clearance background check process.

During the previous Congress, McCaskill served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight, a post from which she investigated waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars at every federal agency.

McCaskill’s Fight for Accountability in Washington
As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight, McCaskill has investigated waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars at every federal agency, holding dozens of hearings to investigate waste and misconduct in federal spending.Highlights of her accomplishments include:Passing into law historic Wartime Contracting reforms following a sustained, six-year effort.Increasing controls on security clearance background checksembassy securitybio-terrorism research, and counternarcotics.Using a letter from a Missouri doctor to launch an investigation targeting aggressive sales and marketing tactics in the medical equipment industry.Leading investigations into failures on the part of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and the Homeland Security Department’s Deputy Inspector General.Expanding protections for whistleblowers at federal agencies, including at the Department of Veterans Affairs, with a bipartisan bill to mandate the firing of any VA employee who retaliates against a whistleblower.Successfully passing into law a comprehensive plan fixing the Pentagon’s troubled program to recover American personnel who are prisoners of war and missing in action.Teaming up with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to introduce the Let Me Google That For You Act, a bipartisan bill to eliminate an outdated federal agency.Leading an investigation and chairing two Senate hearings revealing one of the biggest fraud investigations in U.S. Army history—including up to $100 million in waste—and identifying pervasive fraud and waste in the Army National Guard’s Recruiting Assistance Program.

Visit read more about McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.