Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) offered an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill requiring defense contractors supporting the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan to report violent crimes committed against or by contracted employees to the Department of Defense and that the information be made public. Congress overwhelmingly approved this amendment by voice vote.
This is one step in the right direction in bringing justice to victims, said Poe. It is important that Americans working overseas know that the long arm of the law doesnt stop at our borders. The sexual assault case of Jamie Leigh Jones brought to light serious concerns over how our government and US contractors handle criminal activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. I applaud this Congress for recognizing this is not a political issue and working across party lines to overwhelmingly support this important amendment.
Slaughter/Poe Amendment to H.R. 5658, The Defense Appropriations Bill:
- Secretary of Defense shall develop requirements relating to covered offenses allegedly perpetrated by or against contractor personnel
- Creates a requirement for defense contractors to provide for victim and witness safety, medical assistance, and psychological assistance in the case of a covered offense
- Applies to all current and future government contractors
Congressman Poe has been an outspoken advocate for justice on behalf of Jamie Leigh Jones. Poe was instrumental in facilitating the return of Ms. Jones after receiving a call from her father in July 2005. Congressman Poe contacted the State Departments Department of Overseas Citizen Services, which then dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to rescue her.
Congressman Poe is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus. As a former criminal court judge and prosecutor for over 30 years in Houston, Texas, Poe is recognized nationally for his creative sentencing of criminals and as a dedicated advocate for victims and children.