WASHINGTON, DC—Following news that the Pentagon failed its first ever agency-wide audit, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), CPC Peace and Security Task Force Chair, issued the following statement:

“It has been nearly 30 years since Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, which requiresan audit of every agency.  The results of the Pentagon audit may not be surprising, but must be met with responsible action from Congress.  As arbitrators of tax payer money, we cannot turn a blind eye to massive Pentagon waste, as communities across the country are starved for resources.

“Each year, Congress appropriates over half our discretionary budget to the Pentagon, and each year, many questions remain concerning how that money was spent. Multiple investigations demonstrate the high levels of waste at the Pentagon, with almost half of the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2016 diverted to defense contractors whose CEOs line their pockets with taxpayer money. It is past time to end the culture of waste, fraud and abuse atthe Pentagon and to have real transparency on how this funding is being spent.  

“For a party that relishes fiscal responsibility, Republicans remain strikingly silent on waste at the Pentagon. If we truly care about preparedness, protecting our troops, and eliminating government waste, we must press for greater accountability and transparency in our Department of Defense. Before approving another Pentagon budget, we musthave answers, reforms, and concrete steps to ensure taxpayer dollars are managed and spent effectively.”