Fiscal Groups urge “No” Vote on Graham Amendment

Letter to the HillFiscal Groups urge “No” Vote on Graham Amendment

National Security,  | Quick Take
Oct 5, 2017  | 2 min read | Print Article

Dear Senator:

On behalf of our organizations and our combined memberships, we urge you to vote against Senator Graham’s (R-SC) amendment to strike Section 4104 of the Senate Budget Resolution.

This section is a commonsense provision aimed at curbing abuses of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account for the Pentagon.

Our organizations are on record as opposing the continued, profligate use of the OCO account to hike Pentagon spending by the expedient of taking it “off-budget” to avoid the caps set by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.

We believe that every dollar of Pentagon spending should have strict Congressional oversight.

The OCO budget should not be used by Congress as “free” money. This has led to the original purpose of the fund, to cover the unexpected and unbudgeted costs of overseas contingencies, being overridden by a desire to add more money to the Pentagon while avoiding the BCA caps.

Section 4104 establishes a Point of Order against designating funds as OCO spending. It would treat OCO the same way as emergency funding designations. The Point of Order may be suspended by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members of the Senate.

We agree with Senator Corker’s (R-TN) belief that OCO, “has been repeatedly abused to fund normal operations at the Departments of Defense and State in order to avoid exceeding statutory spending caps.”

We strongly believe Section 4104 provides additional tools for Senators to challenge this use of the OCO gimmick and instill additional oversight and accountability to this largely unchallenged category of Pentagon spending.

We urge you to vote against the Graham amendment.

Signed,

Campaign for Liberty

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Coalition to Reduce Spending

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Defense Priorities Initiative

National Taxpayers Union

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Taxpayers Protection Alliance