Jamie Leigh Jones testifies.

Jamieleigh Jones testifies.

While working in Iraq in 2005, Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones was brutally gang-raped by her co-workers and left for a day locked in a shipping container. Her employment contract said that she was not allowed to sue – her allegations could only be heard in private arbitration.

Last week in his first legislative effort, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) proposed an amendment to a Defense Appropriations bill that would deny taxpayer dollars in the form of defense contracts to any company that asks employees to sign away their right to sue.

Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention. (b) The prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply with respect to employment contracts that may not be enforced in a court of the United States.

30 Republicans voted against the amendment and voted for protecting ginormous profit-making defense contracts for KBR/Halliburton, including Tennessee Senators Lamar! Alexander and Bob Corker. Click on each of the links to send them a nice note or call Sen. Alexander at 202-224-4944 and Senator Corker at 202-234-3344.

Senators Corker and Alexander no doubt agreed with the twisted and flat-out wrong logic of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama who argued that “The Congress should not be involved in writing or rewriting private contracts…that’s just not how we should handle matters in the United States Senate.” Given that the United States government was the other party in the contract, that would be exactly the kind of thing Congress should be involved in.

Senators Alexander and Corker did, however, vote for an amendment “that prohibits funds…from being used to directly or indirectly fund the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)” – an organization that fights for living and minimum wage legislation and increases, registers low- and moderate-income and minority citizens to vote, and counsels first-time home buyers.

If you’re keeping score at home for our two Senators it would be, Rape – 1, The American Dream – 0.

And if you think the sexual assault of women by defense contractor employees is a one-time occurrence, think again.

(H/T: HuffPo)

UPDATE: More from Joe Powell.

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9 Responses to “Sen. Alexander and Sen.Corker Let Corporate Plunderers Off the Hook for Rape, Punish Minimum-Wage Earners”

  1. [...] Alexander and Bob Corker make an appearance in the Tennessean this morning in which they attempt to explain their vote against an amendment to a Defense Appropriations bill that would let corporate [...]

  2. [...] Alexander and Bob Corker make an appearance in the Tennessean this morning in which they attempt to explain their vote against an amendment to a Defense Appropriations bill that would let corporate [...]

  3. [...] Sen. Alexander and Sen.Corker Let Corporate Plunderers Off the Hook for Rape, Punish Minimum-Wage Ea… [...]

  4. Dean says:

    It seems only fair we should demand that those who enter into contracts with the government be held to a high standard. Corker/Alexander want ACORN to be held accountable, but Republicans don’t want to hold anyone accountable when it comes to all things military.

    There is a common thread that runs through organizations like Blackwater and Halliburton, the mishandling of intel and decision to illegally torture detainees at Gitmo — all of which have hurt this country’s security. It comes down not only to a lack of accountability, but a conscious decision to look the other way.

    I wish I knew why that was.

  5. Mary Mancini says:

    By what they do, ACORN empowers the have-nots and some of the powerful people in this country fear losing power more than anything else. KBR/Halliburton are already part of the power structure and are not a threat.

  6. Mary Mancini says:

    Utterly ignored. And the only reason I can think of is that people are uncomfortable writing about rape.

  7. Dean says:

    Why are conservatives worried about ACORN’s foibles but not Halliburton’s?

  8. Joe P. says:

    I’m glad you’re taking up this shameful vote by our senators. i’ve been writing some about it and it is likewise vile that the state’s news outlets have utterly ignored this story. there is simply no defense for voting No on Franken’s amendment and our senators must come forward and explain their decision to do so.

  9. [...] call vote no thanks to Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Senator Bob Corker who would rather let corporate plunderers off the hook for rape, Tennesseans deserve fair and accurate elections, and an interview with immigration law [...]

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