MILITARY QUALITY OF LIFE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - May 26, 2005)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in favor of this appropriations bill, although with some reservations. I am pleased that the reorganization of the appropriations bills has brought about a more logical and supportable Veterans Affairs appropriations product.
I do retain strong concerns over some of the funds appropriated under the Military Construction and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program sections of this bill.
Although I recognize the need for legitimate funds for military construction, I do remain concerned that the funds appropriated herein will be used to fund the construction of U.S. military installations overseas. At a time when we are closing dozens of military installations in the United States-installations that actually contribute to the defense of the United States-under the auspices of saving money, it is unconscionable to be spending money for the defense of foreign countries.
I also strongly object to the appropriation of U.S.taxpayer funds for, as the bill states, "the acquisition and construction of military facilities and installations (including international military headquarters) and for related expenses for the collective defense of the North Atlantic Treaty Area." NATO is a relic of the Cold War and most certainly has no purpose some fifteen years after the fall of the Soviet Union. As we saw in the NATO invasion of Yugoslavia, having outlived its usefulness as a defensive alliance, the Organization has become an arm of aggressive militarism and interventionism. NATO deserves not a dime of American taxpayer's money, nor should the United States remain a member.
In conclusion, though I support this appropriations bill, I remain concerned about the construction of military bases overseas and the dangerous interventionist foreign policy that drives this construction.
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