DeMint vs. Franken Amendment

Several months ago I wrote to Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) regarding his opposition to Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn) “Anti-Rape” Amendment to the defense appropriations bill. That bill passed in December 2009.

Today I got an email response from DeMint! And I’m all WTF? I hate to put the whole thing here, but I’d like you all to have a look.

From what I understand, Halliburton/KBR did everything in their power to cover up the whole episode and to stop Ms. Jones from litigating. Their argument was that Ms. Jones MUST go through arbitration only per her employment contract. She was forced to take her action through the Court of Appeals in order to get her day in court! She was raped in 2005. The Court of Appeals ruled in 2009!

DeMint says there are laws in place to protect victims, but Ms. Jones’ assailants have never been brought to justice and probably never will!

My questions are about the rest of his assertions. Can anyone tell me if those assertions are accurate? Did the Amendment seek to ban all arbitration in DoD contractor contracts? Did Franken refuse making changes? I thought it was changed some. And I read about, but don’t understand why, the Department of Defense would oppose the amendment.

Cites would be helpful. This guy is running for re-election this year and I would very much like to write an op-ed exposing his idiocy. All comments welcome about any of this.

Can you help? Many thanks.

It’s unbelievably easy to find the full text of these things online, so why don’t you find your own cites?

“The DoD opposes the proposed amendment,” reads a message sent from the administration to the Senate on October 6, the day the amendment passed by a 68-30 vote.

“The Department of Defense, the prime contractor, and higher tier subcontractors may not be in a position to know about such things. Enforcement would be problematic, especially in cases where privity of contract does not exist between parties within the supply chain that supports a contract,” reads the DoD note. “It may be more effective to seek a statutory prohibition of all such arrangements in any business transaction entered into within the jurisdiction of the United States, if these arrangements are deemed to pose an unacceptable method of recourse.”

But yet;

“A White House spokesman said that the DoD opposition is overstated in the message sent to Congress. “We support the intent of the amendment, and we’re working with the conferees to make sure that it is enforceable,” said spokesman Tommy Vietor when asked about the DoD statement.”