This week, the US Senate is voting on the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a massive bill that sets the nation’s defense policies and authorizes $612 billion in spending at the Pentagon. This year, Republicans in Congress are using the NDAA to add nearly $40 billion to a massive slush fund at the Pentagon, officially called the Overseas Contingency Operations Account (OCO).
President Obama has said he will veto this measure to shovel money into the Pentagon while ignoring the brutal cuts to the rest of our nation’s investments. The military’s leaders have said this is a bad decision. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is leading the fight against this budget gimmick. He has proposed an amendment to the NDAA that would limit the extra $40 billion from the OCO account unless Congress also agrees to fund vital domestic investments. His amendment would bring the budget back in line with the President’s request.
The Senate is likely to vote on Senator Reed’s important amendment this week, so your Senators need to you to hear from you now!
You can reach your Senators via the Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121 (to confirm who your Senators are, click here). Ask the operator to put you through to one of your Senators, and then tell the person who takes your call:
- “Please SUPPORT amendment #1521 to the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act.”
- “Senator Jack Reed’s amendment would rein in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account. Congress should not be using budget gimmicks – like OCO – to add billions to the Pentagon’s budget.”
- Then repeat this process to reach your other Senator.
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.
It’s time to invest in our future by rejecting the OCO slush fund and restoring vital domestic funding. Please call your Senators today at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to vote YES on Senator Reed’s amendment.
Posted by Angela Miller.