WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2021)––The R Street Institute urges senators to support Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) Restraining Emergency War Spending Act. This legislation would reform emergency war funding by codifying the definition of emergency war funding in statute and creating a surgical point of order against misuse.

Jonathan Bydlak, Director of R Street’s Governance Program, stated, “Emergency war funding has gone by many names over the past 20 years—such as supplemental, Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and Global War on Terror (GWOT)—but rebranding doesn’t change the fact that these funds increasingly have been a budget gimmick, a work-around to increase Pentagon funding and avoid making tough decisions to comply with reasonable budget limits. As engagements and threats stretch on, it’s improper to label easily predictable costs a ‘contingency’ or to use an emergency account to fund base requirements like domestic construction projects.”

“In order to promote better budgeting and an honest reckoning with the true costs of our national defense, it’s essential that emergency war funding be permanently defined in statute and enforced through a point of order that can address specific problems without derailing the underlying bill. This has been a bipartisan priority for many years and with the end of hostilities in Afghanistan, legislators should take this opportunity to build a better framework for future conflicts.”

“I strongly urge all senators to support this legislation and include this important reform in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022.”

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The R Street Institute’s “Guide for a Strong America” project has consistently recommended that “programs that are not related to overseas contingencies should be moved into the base budget.”