Earlier this year, lawmakers passed a budget that slashes funding for nearly every vital domestic investment while shoveling nearly $40 billion into a massive slush fund at the Pentagon known as the Overseas Contingency Operations Account (OCO). While our national security is vitally important, the OCO slush fund will now be nearly $90 billion, on top of the $499 billion the Pentagon already gets in its regular budget. If the OCO slush fund were its own government agency, it would be the second largest agency in the entire federal government, second only to the Pentagon itself.
The OCO slush fund was originally designed to fund our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is now being used to help the Pentagon break existing spending caps. Those caps have resulted in crippling cuts to our nation’s funding for infrastructure, healthcare, education, and nearly every program outside the Pentagon. By using the OCO slush fund, the Republican budget ensures that the Pentagon will get a massive increase in its budget while the rest of the government continues to be slashed.
That’s why we’re partnering with National Priorities Project, a national non-profit dedicated to helping Americans influence how their tax dollars are spent, to stop this horrible budget from going into force. While Congress has passed their budget, they now have to fund the government by passing appropriations bills. In the coming weeks, Congress will decide whether they continue down this dangerous path or chart a new course. A responsible path forward recognizes that our national security starts with our economic security. Congress must recognize that we cannot under-invest in America just to pad the pockets of Pentagon contractors.
Posted by Angela Miller.