Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Westmoreland: IMF loan a poison pill

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland today regretted that he had to vote against the bill to fund the war effort because Democrats tacked on $108 billion in loan guarantees to the International Monetary Fund. All House Republicans and a handful of Democrats joined Westmoreland in opposition, but the bill passed the House.

“American troops are waging a war that has gone on for years and members of Congress should be able to vote to fund the war with no strings attached,” Westmoreland said. “Instead, we’re getting an alleged war spending bill that actually spends more money on the International Monetary Fund than on the war.”

The legislation provides just under $80 billion for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next year. It provides additional money for other defense-related funds and Westmoreland voted for a bipartisan troop funding bill earlier this year that didn’t include the IMF funding.

“Americans overseas are fighting for us in wars. And Americans at home are fighting to pay the bills during a time of extraordinary economic difficulty,” Westmoreland continued. “We have the ability to bounce back out of this recession, but we can’t afford to pay for a global bailout – we have more than enough bailouts going on in our own country, thank you very much. The irony of all this is that we have to borrow money from other countries, particularly China, in order to lend money to the IMF, which then lends money to countries that hate the United States.

“I hate to vote against a bill that funds our troops. We in Congress have a duty and a responsibility to them. But today’s bill does them a disservice, because these troops are also American citizens and they’ll come home and have to join all the rest of us in paying off this gigantic debt that the Democrats are running up.”
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