WASHINGTON, D.C. –The tax increase may have been removed, but taxpayers are still getting soaked 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.
One of the extraneous provisions unrelated to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is an expansion of unemployment insurance.
Not only does this expansion have nothing to do with the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also comes at a time when the unemployment rate remains relatively low by historic standards.
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.