|Tell Congress: End the Pentagon slush fund|
The petition to Congress reads:
"Congress should rein in military spending and stop the Pentagon from using the Overseas Contingency Operations account as a slush fund to avoid much-needed spending cuts. We already spend far too much on our military and the Pentagon’s wasteful weapons programs."
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For more than a decade, Congress has funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a special pot of money called Overseas Contingency Operations funds. As with most Pentagon spending, the massive Overseas Contingency Operations funding stream (cumulatively more than $1 trillion since 2001) has been high volume, but low accountability.
Now, with the Iraq War thankfully over and the occupation of Afghanistan winding down (albeit still too slowly), the Pentagon is using the Overseas Contingency Operations account as a slush fund to pad the military budget and spare it from the brutal across-the-board spending cuts known as the “sequester” that are hitting everything from Head Start to cancer research.
Tell Congress: Rein in military spending and end the Pentagon slush fund. Click here to automatically sign the petition.
The official Pentagon budget request for 2015 was recently released, and in addition to nearly $500 billion in its base budget, the Pentagon also included a $79 billion estimate for the Overseas Contingency Operations budget.
This is a small decrease from last year’s war budget, despite a sharp reduction in troops in Afghanistan and plans that will leave, at most, 10,000 troops in the country in 2015.
Although the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the same legislation that gave us the sequester) nominally set a cap on Pentagon spending, Overseas Contingency Operations funds were exempted.
And so the Pentagon, with the blessing of congressional appropriators, has simply shifted tens of billions in spending from its base budget, which is subject to the spending caps, to the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, which isn’t.
We should be drastically reducing military spending, not allowing the Pentagon to exploit a loophole that not only pads its budget but also cloaks how it spends tens of billions of dollars in secrecy.
Tell Congress: Rein in military spending and end the Pentagon slush fund. Click here to automatically add your name to the petition.
The caps on military spending were one of the few good things in the Budget Control Act.
We already spend far too much on our military, both in absolute terms and as a share of government spending.
And with the Pentagon budget now twice what it was in 2001, there’s a massive amounts of fat that can be cut from the Pentagon budget before it even plausibly starts to endanger our national security.
While the fight to bring our military spending in line with our national security needs will be a long and tough slog, in the interim one step we can take is demand that Congress recognize the need to stop the Pentagon from turning what was its war budget into an unaccountable, non-transparent slush fund.
Tell Congress: Rein in military spending and end the Pentagon slush fund. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition.
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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