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Bush: U.S. Expects Overcharge Money Back ( )

WASHINGTON, Dec 12, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- President Bush said Friday the United States will expect Vice President Dick Cheney's former company to pay back money that it is suspected of overcharging the government on contract work in Iraq.

"If there's an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money be repaid," the president told reporters.

A Pentagon audit found Cheney's former company may have overcharged the Army by $1.09 per gallon for nearly 57 million gallons of gasoline delivered to citizens in Iraq, senior defense officials say.

"I appreciate the Pentagon looking after the taxpayers' money," the president said. "They felt like there was an overcharge issue."

Bush said the Pentagon put the issue "right out there on the table for everybody to see and they're doing good work. We're going to make sure that as we spend money in Iraq, that it's spent well, it's spent wisely.

"Their investigation will lay the facts out for everybody to see," Bush said.

He spoke with reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House as he announced the selection of Alphonso Jackson, a federal housing official, to be the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

By MATT KELLEY Associated Press Writer

Copyright 2003 Associated Press, All rights reserved

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