I voted no on #HR4870, Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015.
The bill spends $4.1 billion more than the current spending level and $200 million above the president’s budget request. It also includes nearly $80 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO, i.e., war spending), which has effectively become a slush fund for the Pentagon, especially now that our involvement in Afghanistan has been winding down.
Under current law, OCO isn’t subject to the spending caps set in the Budget Control Act of 2011, so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon has reportedly been using OCO to skirt the spending caps on its base budget. It’s time to eliminate this off-budget account and bring this spending back into the normal budgeting process.
U.S. military spending comprises about 40 percent of the total military spending of the world. To be credible on deficit reduction, Congress must begin making reforms to military spending, which is the federal government’s second largest expenditure. When Congress passes spending bills like this one, no one should take Congress’s commitment to reining in deficits seriously.
H.R.4870 passed 340-73. Rep. Reed voted Aye. Tom says he favors deficit reduction, but he votes against it again and again.
© William Hungerford – July 2014