A pair of lawmakers introduced a bill that seeks to place Congressional controls on the use of emergency funding for enduring wars.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mike Braun (R-IN) maintain the Restraining Emergency War Spending Act prescribes a statutory definition to classify emergency war spending while establishing a permanent budget against measures including emergency war spending outside the definition.
“The days of endless wars and trillion-dollar defense slush funds must come to an end,” Lee said. “Congress needs to better control, define, and oversee emergency defense spending to make sure American blood and treasure is not committed and lost needlessly.”
Lee said the legislation would enable Congress to enhance its ability to perform the constitutional roles of overseeing the nation’s defense budget and wars.
“National Taxpayers Union applauds Sen. Lee for introducing this new legislation to put guardrails on the future use of off-budget war accounts,” Andrew Lautz, of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), said. “As Sen. Lee and NTU have pointed out, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account morphed from a contingency fund in the immediate years after 9/11 to a slush fund for wasteful projects and programs that couldn’t make it into the military’s regular budget. Though OCO is gone for the upcoming year, Congress must guard against future abuse of off-budget designations like OCO. Sen. Lee’s legislation would give Congress some much-needed muscle against the abuse of war funding.”