Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today offered an amendment to reduce funding for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $175 million in the FY2013 Defense Department Appropriations bill. The Cohen Amendment will be voted on by the House later tonight.
"It's well past time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and invest in America's infrastructure," said Congressman Cohen. "My amendment would reduce the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $175 million so we can invest in rebuilding America's deteriorating roads, bridges and infrastructure."
The Afghan Infrastructure Fund, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Defense, is plagued with problems and unsustainable development projects. It has been the epitome of wasted taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan -- some of which have been stolen or misplaced. Congressman Cohen feels that the U.S. should not be funneling American dollars to maintain the infrastructure in Afghanistan, especially when U.S. authorities cannot guarantee how the funds are being used. The Memphis Congressman said the $175 million should be used to address the overwhelming infrastructure needs in the USA. Most estimates place the costs of fixing American roads and bridges at more than $2 trillion. Should the Cohen Amendment succeed, there will still be approximately $200 million remaining in the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund.