TPA Signs Coalition Letter Criticizing Congress for Budget Gimmicks in NDAA
Pentagon spending continues to be a focus for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and many other taxpayer advocates who care about fiscal responsibility. Recently, TPA President David Williams laid out the case for how President-elect Trump can make good on his promises to change Washington by tackling problems with the defense budget. Yesterday, a report came out detailing how the Pentagon has been wasting over $120 billion on bloated bureaucracy in recent years. Keeping all of that in mind, TPA signed this letter criticizing Congress for their continued gaming of the budget as it relates to Pentagon spending and specifically the authorization of an additional $3.2 billion as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that just passed Congress last week. TPA firmly believes that the best way to secure our nation and our people is to ensure that the financial resources we have are being used in the best way possible to protect against threats both foreign and domestic. Using budget gimmicks to plus-up Pentagon spending on wasteful programs doesn't make the country any safer.
Read the letter below:
December 1, 2016
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
Coalition to Reduce Spending
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