Senator and possible presidential contender for 2016 Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is planning to offer an amendment to the GOP budget next week that would impose a new “war tax” on millionaires to finance U.S. military operations, according to The Hill.
Sanders is ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.
“The Republicans took us into protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and ran up our national debt by trillions because they chose not to pay for those wars. Instead, they put the cost of those wars on our national credit card,” Sanders said in a statement Friday.
The “war tax” will be one of the first Sanders will introduce during a large number of votes next week. During the back-to-back votes, senators are allowed to submit an unlimited amount of amendments.
Senate Republicans added a provision to their plans Thursday that would increase defense spending next year by pumping up the Pentagon’s “war funding account” to $96 billion.
The overseas contingency operations (OCO) account has funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and now pays for operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Republicans are depending on OCO – which falls outside the Defense Department’s base budget – to increase military spending, according to The Hill.
The budget would keep sequestration budget caps in place next year for the Pentagon’s base budget.
It seems to be a “way around” the budget caps – a way to increase the defense budget by simply putting money in another category.
Sanders slammed the proposal from right-wing Senators. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), which matches what House Republicans are seeking in their separate budget resolution. Sanders called their use of OCO a “gimmick.”