Congress has again bought M1 Abrams tanks with the new $120 million defense spending bill that the U.S. army repeatedly said it doesn’t want.
This is not the first time the U.S. army has been in the news recently. According to a report from the Inquisitr, the U.S. army sent tanks to Eastern Europe amid Russian aggression.
For three years, the U.S. army has pushed a plan that would suspend tank building and upgrades, such as Abrams tanks. Each time, Congress would push back, except for last week. Instead of pushing it back, they voted in favor of it.
The tank debate between the Army and Congress goes back to 2012, when Odierno testified that “we don’t need the tanks. Our tank fleet is two and a half years old on average now. We’re in good shape, and these are additional tanks that we don’t need.” Odierno lost. Congress voted for another $183 million for tanks, despite Odierno’s argument that the Army was seeking to become a lighter force. He told the Associated Press at the time that “if we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way” than spending it on 70-ton Abrams tanks.
Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said that Congress “recognizes the necessity of the Abrams tank to our national security and authorizes an additional $120 million for Abrams tank upgrades. This provision keeps the production lines open in Lima, Ohio, and ensures that our skilled, technical workers are protected.”
Todd Harrison, an analyst for the Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said that it is undecided whether the U.S. army needed more tanks. It was not out of the ordinary, however, for Congress to go against the military’s recommendations on the budget.
“It’s just one example and it’s not unique to this year,” Harrison said. “In some cases, Congress is using its appropriate role of oversight. In some cases, Congress can act out of purely parochial interests.”
Although Congress could have used their military budget better, it decided to spend it on Abrams tanks, which the U.S. army says that they do not need. Surely, Congress will receive criticism for spending money on something that is arguably not needed.
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