U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement in response to the introduction of a bill by House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Ike Skelton (MO-04) to extend the authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGR):

“Recent stories of missing weapons in Iraq highlight the need for oversight of war spending.  The Special Inspector General is key to any such oversight, and it is important that he have the authority he needs until the job is done.  As it stands, the SIGR could lose his oversight authority long before the last taxpayer dollar is spent in Iraq.

“I am an original cosponsor of a bill introduced today by Rep. Skelton that would extend the SIGR’s authority until most Iraq war spending is complete.  In addition, it would bring an additional $1.7 billion under the SIGR’s authority – money to be spent for the training and equipping of Iraqi troops.

“Americans spoke loudly and clearly against staying the course in Iraq last week.  Making sure we know where our money goes is essential if we are to get the situation in Iraq under control.  This bill is a good step in a new direction in Iraq.”