The House passed a bill on Wednesday that would make all private contractors working in Iraq and other combat zones subject to prosecution by U.S. courts. It was the first major legislation of its kind to pass since a deadly shootout last month involving Blackwater employees.
Democrats called the 389-30 vote an indictment in connection with a shooting incident there that left 11 Iraqis dead. Senate Democratic leaders said they planned to follow suit with similar legislation and send a bill to President Bush as soon as possible.
A bill (S. 1145) that would expand the government’s ability to prosecute U.S. contractors that commit criminal acts in other countries has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill must now be taken up by the full Senate.