Tester: Republicans’ Pentagon budget gimmick is ‘the height of hypocrisy’

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after Senate Republicans rejected an amendment to limit funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, a Pentagon spending account whose funds are not counted in the department’s budget:

“The majority is already ignoring the true costs of war by underfunding the VA by nearly a billion dollars. Now, they are trying to fund the Pentagon off the books, so they can pretend they are saving taxpayers money. This budget gimmick is the height of hypocrisy.”

Tester recently introduced an amendment to increase VA funding by $857 million so the department would have the resources it needs to care for veterans. His amendment was defeated on a 16-14 party line vote.

During recent budget debates, Tester outlined his priorities for reducing spending overseas and increasing investments at home in infrastructure, education, and research and development.