Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) joined as an original co-sponsor in the introduction of H.R. 5015, legislation that would require the President to submit to Congress a plan and timeline for the safe, orderly, and expeditious redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan, including military and security-related contractors. Additionally, the legislation would implement greater oversight and planning measures to reduce our reliance on contractors in Afghanistan, and to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in contracting practices.
“It has been nearly a decade since I voted against the ‘Authorization of Use of Force’ on September 14, 2001- an authorization that I knew was a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length.
“The fact is, United States economic and national security, as well as our values, is undermined by a military-first strategy that many of us fear may lead us down a path of unending war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, or elsewhere.
“We have already sent more than $1 trillion dollars to the Pentagon for the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Administration has yet to provide an estimate for the long-term costs of United States military operations in Afghanistan.
“Roughly 1/3 of every tax dollar paid by the American people in 2009 went to the Pentagon and military-related expenditures. We cannot begin to reduce the budget deficit without reducing our military spending, and this legislation sets us down that path by ending a policy of open-ended war in Afghanistan that has ultimately made America less safe.
“The Administrations’ stated policy is that the United States does not seek a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. By requiring a plan with a timeline for ending this war and finally bringing our troops and military contractors home, this legislation makes good on that policy.”
The Honorable Barbara Lee (CA-9)
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