The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House Friday morning in a 375-34 vote.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week. Contact your Senators.
Scrap any plans to fund the Overseas Contingency Operations*
The Libertarian Institute and Taxpayers United of America join 18 other organizations from across the political spectrum in opposition to the $3.2 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money for the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
This misappropriation of tax dollars for the OCO fund surpasses congressional spending limits agreed upon as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
“Certainly in this case, we are not talking about spending $3.2 billion on security or defending the United States,” said Jared Labell, executive director of The Libertarian Institute and Taxpayers United of America.
“Our tax dollars are being siphoned off as a budgetary gimmick to bypass legislative restraints on the war budget. These OCO funds further perpetuate the government’s numerous wars abroad to the tune of more than $1 trillion since 2001, including the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other continuing conflicts.”
“The House is voting on the NDAA today, Friday, December 2nd. We urge our members, supporters, and all who receive our message to contact their Representatives and tell them to oppose the OCO in the 2017 NDAA.”
The following is the text of the letter that was sent to Congress on behalf of our transpartisan coalition:
Dear Senator /Representative,
The recently released conference report for the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would authorize an additional $3.2 billion unrequested by the Pentagon, effectively exceeding the spending limits set in place previously by Congress as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. As organizations representing Americans across the political spectrum, we are writing to voice our disagreement with this tactic.
The very real challenges facing our military are not the result of a lack of funds. They are the result of years of failing to make necessary, tough choices our nation’s security requires. If Congress votes to simply throw additional billions of dollars at this problem by using a budgetary gimmick involving the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, you will do nothing to solve these problems. Rather, you will simply be guaranteeing another year of massive spending at the Pentagon. Refusing to make hard choices and trade-offs does not strengthen our security, it undermines it.
Earlier this year, many of our organizations expressed our opposition to the House Armed Services Committee’s draft NDAA which included an $18 billion gimmick to fund the OCO account above previously agreed upon levels. What was a bad idea at $18 billion is still a bad idea at $3.2 billion. We strongly urge you to scrap any plans to fund the OCO account above the levels set in existing law and finally pursue a path of fiscal responsibility at the Pentagon.
Campaign for Liberty
Center for International Policy
Council for a Livable World
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Just Foreign Policy
National Priorities Project
National Taxpayers Union
Project on Government Oversight
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Taxpayers United of America
The Libertarian Institute
The London Center
United for Peace and Justice
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions
*This post reflects edits to clarify the narrower focus of this initiative in opposition to a portion of the 2017 NDAA, the $3.2 billion OCO fund, and not the entire bill. Any views expressed to the contrary did not reflect the views of any of the other organizations associated with this campaign. Please email [email protected] for any further clarifications or interest in discussing the $3.2 billion OCO fund, as the bill now moves to the senate and a vote next week. – JL