Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to reduce or eliminate a nearly $900 million program to recruit and train Iraqi police officers.
In a letter to Clinton, Duncan called the aid "a horrendous waste of taxpayer money" at a time when the U.S. national debt has surpassed $15 trillion for the first time.
The State Department has requested $887 million for Fiscal Year 2012 to administer the Iraqi Police Development Program (PDP) even after a recent government audit of the program warned it could become a "bottomless pit for U.S. dollars."
"Providing U.S. dollars for the PDP when we have so many pressing needs for our citizens here at home is just plain wrong," Duncan said. "We simply cannot afford to continue paying for something the Iraqi government should be doing on its own."
"It is time for the Iraqi people to take control of their government and their security, and it is time that America stop paying for another country's reconstruction and way-of-life," Duncan continued.
The United States has already spent several billion dollars on Iraqi police and security training since the war began in 2003.
Defense Department officials in 2010 reported there were more than 400,000 Iraqis serving in the police force.
The State Department, which has taken charge of the PDP, says the program needs at least another five years of US taxpayer support.