Senator Jon Tester is backing a plan to require the U.S. government to pay for its military involvement in all future conflicts.
According to the Defense Department, the U.S. has spent nearly $1 trillion in war efforts since 2001--most of it deficit spending which exploded the national debt.
Tester is backing a Pay for War measure in the Senate, which would prevent Congress from spending money on war unless it is offset by budget cuts or increased revenue.
If agreed to, Tester's measure could be waived in an emergency--such as the start of a conflict--with approval from 60 Senators. The measure would not be implemented retroactively and would not affect funding for U.S. military efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Tester, an outspoken supporter of the military, called the resolution "a matter of accountability."
"As we work to responsibly cut spending and cut the debt, we've got to recognize that the money this nation spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been one of the biggest drivers of our growing deficit," Tester said. "And we have a patriotic, moral obligation to make sure the burden of fighting these wars isn't being carried only by our troops and our military families. We've got to make the tough choices to keep America safe, while getting our fiscal house in order and not sticking our kids and grandkids with the bill."
Tester said the policy will strengthen America's economic security, which will strengthen national security. He also noted that Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that the biggest threat to American national security is the rising national debt.