House Passes Lewis Cost of War Amendment
WASHINGTON -- This week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously adopted the Cost of War amendment authored by Rep. John Lewis during consideration of H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
This was the third consecutive year that the House has passed the Lewis amendment which simply requires the Department of Defense and the Internal Revenue Service to calculate and publish the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to every American taxpayer on their websites. H.R. 4435 is now pending before the U.S. Senate.
On passage of the bill, the Congressman remarked --
“As the U.S. prepares to recognize Memorial Day, it is fitting that the House adopted my amendment. Experts estimate we have spent between $4 and $6 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Congress is cutting benefits to the poor, the homeless, and the elderly, the American people have the right to know how their money is being spent.
"While it is important that the American taxpayer knows the financial cost of war, there is no way to calculate what American service members and their loved ones have sacrificed.
"They put their lives on hold as they serve our country away from family, friends, and all they know and love. When they return, they must deal with the physical, social, and economic remnants of war every day.
"We must not only end the cycle of war, but as a nation we must commit to providing every possible resource to support and pay tribute to Americans who served on the front lines and their families who care for them.
They know firsthand the full cost of war, and every day, we must take the time to honor their selfless, commitment to democracy and service.”