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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. I rise in support today of a simple way to be able to fix a problem that we have been trying to pursue for years on it.

Despite a zero-tolerance policy, the Commission on Wartime Contracting released their final report last November, highlighting contractors and subcontractors in Iraq and Afghanistan who have engaged in the practice of human trafficking. Despite numerous laws, numerous policies and attempts to do this, we have not been able to resolve this. Today I am putting forward an amendment to try to resolve this issue.

According to various accounts before my subcommittee, third-country nationals are hired by prime and subprime contractors holding U.S. Government contracts. They are recruited by brokers who lure them into these positions under false pretenses. Many arrive having been robbed of wages, injured without compensation, subjected to sexual assaults, or held in deplorable conditions resembling indentured servitude by their subcontractor bosses. Using taxpayer bosses to support these conditions is immoral, inappropriate, and un-American. This is something we have worked to fix.

This amendment brings clarity to the issues to make sure it's absolutely clear to these subcontractors, which are often foreign companies that bring in laborers to work for our military, that we never, ever violate our basic American principle of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


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