Tester protecting taxpayers, holding government accountable over Syria
Senator also gets Afghan government to back off plan to charge U.S. for its own military equipment
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester’s fight for Montana priorities headed overseas today, with the Montana farmer backing two measures to better protect taxpayers and hold the federal government more accountable when it comes to foreign entanglements.
Tester today backed a bipartisan amendment that requires the President to follow established law if he considers sending the military into Syria. Tester’s measure reaffirms Congress’ role in determining national security policy as well as the authority of the War Powers Resolution, which limits U.S. military participation in overseas hostilities without Congressional approval.
“With limited funding and a military that’s been stretched thin in recent years, we can’t afford a poorly conceived and open-ended commitment of American resources that is not in our public interest,” Tester said. “The Administration needs to be held accountable to the American people and to American taxpayers, and that’s what this responsible measure is all about.”
Tester also forced the Afghan government to back off its plan to charge the U.S. steep fees to ship American military equipment out of the country. Along with other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester supported an amendment to withhold $5 in aid for every $1 in fees charged by the Afghans.
In response, the Afghan government dropped its plan and American shipments will continue free of charge.
“Montanans continue to make tremendous sacrifices to fight terrorism and secure a better future for Afghanistan,” Tester said. “Charging us to bring our own equipment home is a slap-in-the-face to our fighting men and women and to American taxpayers, and I’m glad the Afghan government came to its senses.”
Tester, a long-time member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is also fighting to save taxpayer money by reducing the number of overseas military bases. He recently called on the U.S. Defense Department to cut spending on facilities overseas – not bases in the U.S.
Tester’s War Powers amendment and Afghanistan amendment are now part of a Defense funding bill that will next receive a vote by the full Senate.