Following the widely publicized case of a KBR employee in Iraq who was gang-raped by her coworkers, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would prevent federal contracts from going to companies like Halliburton/KBR that make employees waive the right to sue their employer if they are raped on the job.
“The old ‘it’s okay if you get raped’ clause,” The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart commented sarcastically. “If ever there was a time for the unanimous passing of an amendment, the Franken Anti-Government Contractor Rape Liability bill would seem to be that.”
And yet 30 Republican senators voted against the amendment. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), for example, argued, “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.”
“No, that’s exactly how you should handle matters in the United States Senate,” Stewart responded. He mockingly paraphrased Sessions’ position as, “It’s not the government’s business to decide who the government does business with.”
“What exactly is your real objection?” Stewart asked.
“It’s a political amendment,” Sessions continued, “really at bottom representing sort of a political attack directed at Halliburton.”
“To protect Halliburton you have to side against rape victims?” Stewart asked incredulously. “You might want to rethink your allegiances.”
Stewart then showed four of the senators who voted against the rape amendment proposing legislation to prevent “one more penny of taxpayer money from going to ACORN.”
“I guess it’s an efficiency thing,” Stewart concluded. “You don’t want to waste taxpayer money giving it to someone who advises fake prostitutes how to commit imaginary crimes. You want to give it to Halliburton cause they’re committing real gang-rape. You cut out the middleman — and they say government doesn’t work.”
This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast Oct. 14, 2009.