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OCTOBER 31, 2003
12:20 PM
Jessica Smith, Roberto Delgado
Halliburton Rakes in Record Profits While White House Snubs Congressional Inquiries
WASHINGTON - October 31 - President Bush, who has consistently given lip service to open and competitive procurement practices for U.S. government contracts, announced yesterday that Halliburton’s original no-bid contract for oil-related work would be renewed until at least the end of the year. The announcement snubs members of Congress who have appealed to the President for lower cost contracts, and disregards the Army Corps of Engineers’ statement last spring that the original contract was “designed from the outset as a bridge to competition.”

The White House Web site includes an undated page titled, “Save Taxpayers Dollars by Ensuring Full and Open Competition to Government Contracts” and argues that “Contracting should be accomplished through full and open competitive procedures.” Yet, the contract for Halliburton—a company with close ties to Vice President Cheney and the Bush White House—has been extended, despite its exorbitant price tag.

Yesterday’s announcement of the contract extension came one day after Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI) sent a letter to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice questioning whether Halliburton was overcharging U.S. taxpayers for imported gasoline, citing a figure of $2.65 per gallon of gasoline imported into Iraq. The congressmen assert the cost is three times greater than it should be.

The letter to Dr. Rice, the coordinator of the Iraq Study Group, was another attempt by Congress to get the administration's response to concerns of overcharging by Halliburton and lack of oversight. Two inquiries to OMB Director Joshua Bolten and one to the Corps of Engineers sent starting in late September remain unanswered.

For further details and documentation of this latest George W. Bush “Mislead,” visit:


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