What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Prevent the Importation of Oil into Iraq. (2003 house Roll Call 551)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Prevent the Importation of Oil into Iraq.
house Roll Call 551     Oct 16, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In January 2003, the Bush Administration awarded a no-bid, $500 million contract to Halliburton to extinguish fires in Iraq's oil fields, restore Iraq's damaged oil pipelines, and, until Iraq's oil infrastructure is functioning properly, import oil into the country. By October 1, 2003, the value of Halliburton's contract had grown to $1.4 billion. In response to the tripling of Halliburton's contract, Representative Waxman (D-CA) initiated several inquiries to determine how exactly the additional monies were being spent. After a round of fact-finding, it became clear to Waxman and others that Halliburton was overcharging the federal government to import and sell gasoline in Iraq. According to an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service-a federal agency that provides lawmakers with policy research upon request-the average price of gasoline in the Middle East was approximately seventy-one cents. However, according to Waxman, Halliburton was charging the U.S. government $1.70 per gallon of gasoline. Waxman and other Progressives characterized Halliburton's actions as price-gouging and presented evidence that the oil company had overcharged the U.S. government by $250 million. In an effort to penalize Halliburton for gasoline overcharges, Representative Holt (D-NJ) introduced an amendment to the 2004 supplemental spending request for Iraq and Afghanistan which would have eliminated all expenditures on the importation of oil into Iraq. Conservatives argued that importing oil into Iraq was necessary because Iraq's oil infrastructure had been severely neglected by Saddam Hussein's regime and was not operational. On a vote of 169-256, the Holt amendment was rejected and expenditures for oil importation into Iraq remained in the underlying supplemental spending bill.

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