On Tuesday, Rep. Peter Welch reintroduced legislation that would block all U.S. taxpayer assistance to Afghanistan until the President reaches a bilateral agreement with the Afghan government that would exempt American contractors from Afghan taxation. The legislation, first introduced in the last Congress, is being introduced on the heels of a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report which revealed that the Afghan government has assessed just under $1 billion in taxes on U.S. contractors participating in the rebuilding effort.
Welch, who recently returned from a congressional trip to Afghanistan said, "It is incomprehensible that the government of Afghanistan, with its abysmal track record of corruption, would actually think it is a good idea to tax assistance provided by the American taxpayer. We shouldn't give another dime to the Afghan government until they agree to stop ripping off the American taxpayer."
Last year, the bill was included on the National Defense Authorization Act, but removed during conference negotiations with the Senate.