WASHINGTON, D.C. –The tax increase may have been removed, but taxpayers are still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the war supplemental bill. Rather than passing a “clean” bill, the U.S. Senate sent H.R. 2642, the vehicle for the emergency war supplemental, back to the House leaving it filled with unrelated non-defense, non-emergency spending items. 

As the name implies, an “Emergency War Supplemental” should be narrowly focused on funding directly related expenditures.

However, the bill would appropriate $1,000,000,000 to go towards payments under the low-income home energy assistance act of 1981.

Heating subsidies to the poor hardly fall into the category of expenditures directly related to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but rather into the category of politically motivated pet projects.

Supplemental spending outside the normal budget process has ballooned in recent years.  What began as a limited effort to address unexpected reconstruction costs in the wake of the attacks of September 11th and the War in Afghanistan, the supplemental appropriations have grown in size and scope.  Having clearly outgrown their initial purpose, they impose an ever increasing burden on American taxpayers. 

Smoke and mirrors and budget gimmicks should have no room in an emergency war supplemental bill.  It is time for Congress to learn that lesson, and to strip non-emergency, non-defense spending items from that bill.