Coffman Calls For an End To Overseas Contingency Operation Funding as Military Operations wind down in Afghanistan

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Washington, DC, May 23, 2014 | comments

Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO), along with Representatives Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and 20 of their colleagues in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing strong concerns over a number of issues related to the Overseas Contingency Operation budget and its use to circumvent budget caps.   The letter states as the last of our troops come home from Afghanistan, it is time to wind down the Overseas Contingency Operations budget and fund the operations of the Defense Department entirely through the base budget. 

“We are deeply concerned by the migration of base budget funding into the OCO budget as well as the use of war funds to finance activities and procure items that are unrelated to the war in Afghanistan.  OCO budgets have remained at high levels despite the fact that war operations are winding down.  While there will be 39 percent fewer personnel deployed to Afghanistan this year, the amount of OCO funding provided to the Pentagon actually increased as compared to last year.” wrote Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment to the defense appropriations bill that rejected increases to the OCO budget that exceeded the military’s request.  This year, the bipartisan House-passed budget included language highlighting the need to end the use of the OCO budget as a tool to circumvent budget caps.

“For nearly thirteen years, the Pentagon has requested – and Congress has authorized and appropriated – off-budget funding to support military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  As the last of our troops prepare to come, it is time to wind down the OCO budget and fund the operations of the Defense Department entirely through the base budget,” wrote Coffman.

The letter to President Barack Obama can be found here.

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