Levin, Warner All Fired Up Over New GAO Report
Following up on Matt’s post, it seems that a few senators out there were none too happy to get yesterday’s news that, over the past three years, Iraq has spent less than $4 billion of its oil revenues on security and basic infrastructure while sitting on a surplus that could reach $50 billion this year. (The U.S., meanwhile, has spent roughly $23 billion on the same sectors since 2003, according to the same GAO report.) From a statement issued yesterday by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee:
We should not be paying for Iraqi projects, while Iraqi oil revenues continue to pile up in the bank including outrageous profits from $4 a gallon gas prices in the U.S. We should require that U.S. taxpayers be reimbursed for the cost of large projects.
And from Sen. John Warner (Va.), the highest-ranking Republican on the committee:
It is time for the sovereign government of Iraq, using its revenues, expenditures and surpluses, to fully assume the responsibility to provide essential services and improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people.
It’s tempting to remind the lawmakers that we’re actually borrowing, not spending, the cash we’re using to fund the Iraq debacle. Then again, there’s little peace of mind in that thought either.