WASHINGTON – Recently, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), Congressman Peter Meijer (MI-03), and Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) introduced the Cost of War Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the Department of Defense to publicly share the cost per American taxpayer of each military operation conducted by the United States Armed Forces since 9/11 and into the future. The Cost of War Act modernizes legislation originally passed by Congressman John Lewis, which required this same cost disclosure for the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Congresswoman Williams said:
“With the rising costs Americans face right now, we owe our constituents clear information on government spending. When we invest in things like schools and the infrastructure we use daily, we feel the impacts in our communities. But it’s much harder to grasp the costs and impacts of our military spending. While we have a long way to go to truly demystify the impacts of war, this legislation will modernize the original Cost of War Act passed by Congressman John Lewis to make war less of an abstract, but instead something we can all better understand.”
Congressman Meijer said:
“Since 9/11, wars around the globe have had both a devastating human cost and a massive taxpayer cost estimated to be in the trillions. The Cost of War Act of 2022 enhances government transparency and accountability by requiring the Pentagon to post publicly and clearly on its website how much each of these wars costs the individual American taxpayer. This is a critical step forward in our bipartisan effort to restore congressional authority and oversight on matters of national security.”
Congresswoman Jacobs said:
“Representing a proud military community in San Diego, my constituents know the human costs of war. After nearly 20 years and 10,000 American lives lost, it is important that moving forward lawmakers and the public understand the financial costs to the taxpayer as well. I thank Congresswoman Nikema Williams for her leadership on the bipartisan Cost of War Act so that we can ensure there is a full accounting of the fiscal impact of war.”
The Cost of War Act is endorsed by the NAACP, Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP, Just Foreign Policy, VoteVets, and Foreign Policy for America.
Richard Rose, President of the Atlanta NAACP said:
“We support Congresswoman Nikema Williams and the Cost of War Act that I believe will open the eyes of America as to the true cost of war. We know the economic pain but a serious quantification of that pain should be publicly available. Knowledge is power and by extending this reporting to all military actions, American citizens will gain power.”
Erik Sperling, Executive Director of Just Foreign Policy said:
“Congresswoman Williams is standing on the shoulders of giants with this visionary legislation that brings together the civil rights movement, combat veterans, working families, and the pro-diplomacy community around the critical question of how our country should spend taxpayers’ funds. Legendary leaders such as John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and even former President Dwight Eisenhower were clear that an expansive global military presence necessitates tradeoffs that can cause underinvestment in hard-hit communities in Atlanta and across the country. This legislation will give American people long-overdue transparency about our military spending abroad and help voters ensure that their government strikes the right balance between militarism abroad and addressing urgent human needs right here at home.”
Mary Kaszynski, Director of Government Relations for VoteVets said: “Transparency is as key as anything when it comes to waging war. The American people not only have every right to know when and where our troops are deployed to combat, but they have every right to know the cost of that action. This bill will allow Americans to more accurately know the monetary cost of these operations. Our Constitution rightfully treats the decision to wage war as a serious one and puts the decision in the hands of the people’s representatives in Congress, not the executive. This bill, in that spirit, gives the people the information they need so they can voice their opinion to their representatives. We applaud Representative Williams and her colleagues for their leadership in this critical effort.”
Andrew Albertson, Executive Director of Foreign Policy for America said:
“Transparency is a key pillar of our democracy, and this bill demonstrates to the American taxpayer just how costly military operations can be. By plainly laying out the cost of war, this bill will ensure Americans have a clear understanding of the tremendous financial costs of U.S. military action abroad – to say nothing of the lives lost. Foreign Policy for America commends Rep. Williams’ work on this important legislation.”
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.