Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Madam Speaker, $2.5 billion--that's my State's share of the wars we've been fighting for the last 8 years, and now this country is being asked to spend another $30 billion a year to send more troops to Afghanistan. It's too much, Madam Speaker, for a war that just isn't working.
At a time when we are struggling to put Americans back to work, we just can't afford to escalate a war that we need to be winding down. At a time when we have asked our men and women in uniform to return to combat again and again, we cannot afford to send them back one more time to fight to protect a government that is now considered the second most corrupt on Earth. At a time when we are working to bring affordable health care to every family in this country, we just can't afford to spend $1 million per soldier to occupy a country that doesn't want us there.
Don't be mistaken, Madam Speaker. When we need to protect our vital national interests, there is no cost too great, and the greatest Armed Forces in the world will rise to meet any challenge. But this is not the time to pay that price. This is a time to end this war and bring the troops home.