The Washington swamp may claim another Republican in leadership. A Los Angeles Times report revealed House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s brother-in-law scored a $7 million no-bid contract based on his Native American ancestry. There’s just one problem: he’s not Native.
The investigation by the paper showed prime contracts were awarded through federal programs designed to help disadvantaged minorities. Vortex Construction’s principal owner is William Wages, McCarthy’s wife’s brother. He scored $7.6 million in prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times concluded. While it’s currently owned by Wages, McCarthy’s mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law are all employed. His wife hasn’t been an executive in the Bakersfield company since the 1990s.
A no-bid contract means there was no competition for other companies that might offer more cost-effective contracts that could have saved American tax dollars.
Wages says he is one-eighth Cherokee, but tribal records call the claim into question. He’s a member of a group called the Northern Cherokee Nation, but it has no legitimate recognition as a tribe and tribal leaders say that it’s considered a fraudulent group.
More than $4 million in minority financing was set aside for projects at China Lake, in McCarthy’s district. The Congressman has also been an advocate for increasing funding for China Lake and expanding the area for the military base there.
It’s prompting questions about whether Wages benefited from McCarthy’s powerful position in Congress or if the claims constitute fraud.