Tester to colleagues: Are we putting another war on a credit card?
Senator asks tough questions about the cost to fight ISIL
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today asked his Senate colleagues a very important question: “Are we putting another war in the Middle East on a credit card?”
Tester took to the Senate floor during a debate on a bill that will fund the government to December. The proposal authorizes the Defense Department to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Pentagon has said it will cost approximately $500 million to train and equip Syrian rebels.
“Five hundred million dollars is a far cry from the hundreds of billions we spent in Iraq over the last decade. But we must stop putting wars on a credit card,” Tester said. “And I wonder if once we start an overseas conflict, do we know where and when it will stop? Do we know what our spending will achieve? In the last five years, we have actually made some progress on deficit reduction. We’ve cut the deficit by two-thirds. But all that is at risk with the beginning of a new conflict.”
Tester said he would vote for the funding bill because last year’s government shutdown was a “fiasco,” but blasted the process for not taking more time to debate an incredible investment of money, personnel and military resources in the Middle East by saying, “The discussion will take less than half a day. That is crazy.”