- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sen. Chris Coons said Tuesday that he believes a war surtax is a viable solution to funding the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

The Delaware Democrat argued on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the United States “charged” into war with Iraq and Afghanistan with “no serious thought” on how to pay for it.

“As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Appropriations Committee, I’m trying to raise my hand and saying we’re not doing our job in Congress,” Mr. Coons said, according to a press release. “President Obama sent us an AUMF, that’s Washington-speak for a request for a declaration of war against ISIS, all the way back in February, and we have not taken it up, debated it and passed it. We owe that to our veterans and to those serving in the conflict against ISIS but we also need to stand up and say: ‘How are we going to pay for it?’”

The senator penned an op-ed Sunday for the Philadelphia Inquirer proposing a temporary war surtax that would include an exemption for U.S. troops and their families. He said he introduced a federal budget amendment in March that would impose a temporary surtax, and he plans to explore the option again when the Senate reconvenes in 2016.

“There are a whole lot of outrageous statements being made, very aggressive, very bellicose statements being made by Republican Presidential candidates, and by my colleagues in the Senate about how much they would do, how aggressive they would be,” he said Tuesday. “I think if they also had to vote to fund the cost of the wars they’re threatening to expand, it would create somewhat of a speed bump. It would force us to debate not just the strategy of the war against ISIS, which we need to more seriously contemplate, but it would also force us to look at the cost – short term and long term – of the conflict we are already well into against ISIS.”



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