Statement of Congressman Dave Obey, Appropriations Committee Ranking Member

I find it interesting and wildly inappropriate that on a subject as serious as war, which is certainly a bipartisan matter, this administration has once again treated it as a partisan issue.

This comes on the heels of last week’s ill-advised decision by Condoleezza Rice to brief the Republican Caucus separately from any briefings provided to Democrats, raising concerns that both parties may not be told the same thing.

With respect to the substance of their request, it is difficult to comment on something that we have not yet been shown. But, if it is true that they are proposing a $25 billion supplemental appropriation, it represents yet another effort to conceal the full costs of meeting the challenge in Iraq until after the election.

Military leaders, who ought to know, have left no doubt that the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the cost of securing our embassies around the world, is at least three times the amount being talked about today.

The American people should be given all the facts about the costs they are expected to bear rather than being fed information on the installment plan.

It is ironic that the Administration is sending Congress a request for an additional $25 billion—all of which will be borrowed—on the same day House Republicans have rammed through another tax bill costing billions of dollars—all of which will be borrowed.

It is fiscally irresponsible for the Administration to refuse to match its foreign policy costs with the actions necessary to pay those costs.