Veterans group supports effort to hold Congress accountable for responsible war funding
ARLINGTON, Va.— Concerned Veterans for America’s (CVA) Deputy Director Russ Duerstine issued the following statement in support of Emergency War Funding Reform – a bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) which would prescribe a statutory definition to classify emergency war spending, and establish a permanent, surgical budget point of order against measures that include emergency war spending not meeting the definition set by Congress:
“Since September 11, 2001, Congress has appropriated over two trillion dollars in Emergency War Funding, also known as the Global War on Terror. Over time, the purpose of this spending morphed from funding our original missions in Afghanistan and Iraq into funding endless wars and run-of-the-mill DOD activities in other theaters like Europe. This is not what taxpayers signed up to fund with their hard earned paychecks. Americans deserve to know their elected officials are accountable for responsible spending, and it starts with this commonsense bipartisan reform.”
Emergency war funding, commonly known as Global War on Terror (GWOT) and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, has exponentially grown in size and scope since its inception after September 11, 2001. While Congress did not expect OCO funding to turn into a reserve fund for regularly planned defense spending, Congress has yet to reign-in or retool this “emergency spending” to account for the relative peacetime operational posture and the drawdown of conflicts in the Middle East.