TPA Joins Coalition Supporting OCO Amendment to FY2017 NDAA
May 19, 2016
Last night the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, by a vote of 277-147. The issue of Pentagon spending is important to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and making sure that elected officials are working with the Defense Department to put forward the best policies to provide for the national defense is critical. Unfortunately, wasting taxpayer money is not something that is in the best interests of national security. Time and again TPA has exposed billions of dollars in earmarks buried in defense spending, we continue to call for an end to wasteful programs like the F-35 and Abrams Tank, and there is also the issue of budget gimmicks like the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account. Yesterday, TPA joined a broad coalition letter led by Taxpayers for Common Sense supporting an amendment to the FY 2017 NDAA that “codifies criteria developed by the Office of Management and Budget in 2010 to clarify when military spending should be designated as contingency operations and properly be part of the Overseas Contingency Operations budget.” The bipartisan amendment was sponsored by Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Barbara Lee (R-CA), and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and adopted in a voice vote with several other amendments. TPA will continue to keep an eye on defense spending related bills, including the coming Defense Appropriations bill, which is likely to include more earmarks, as it has in years past.
Read the full letter below:
May 18, 2016
The undersigned organizations are writing in strong support of the bi-partisan Mulvaney/Van Hollen/Sanford/Lee amendment to H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. This amendment, if passed, would help put us on the path to better fiscal discipline which is important to each of our organizations representing citizens on both the right and the left.
Congress’ role is to make the hard choices about authorizing funds to keep our nation secure and our organizations believe we need to make the best choices possible. To better support our war fighters, every dollar must be spent wisely. As you consider amendments to H.R. 4909, we hope you will vote in favor of this amendment.
The Mulvaney (R-SC) Van Hollen (D-MD) Sanford (R-SC) and Lee (D-CA) amendment codifies criteria developed by the Office of Management and Budget in 2010 to clarify when military spending should be designated as contingency operations and properly be part of the Overseas Contingency Operations budget. These common sense guidelines bring much-needed fiscal discipline to a part of the Pentagon budget that is often misused as a slush fund for programs unrelated to supporting our operations overseas.
Thank you for your consideration. As organizations across the political spectrum who closely follow the defense authorization process, we urge you to use this opportunity to set a stronger, better, and more sustainable path for our national security.
Center for International Policy
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Council for a Livable World
Friends Committee on National Legislation
London Center for Policy Research
National Taxpayers Union
Project on Government Oversight
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
United for Peace and Justice
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions