Rep. Ilhan Omar Criticizes Increase in Defense Budget Since 9/11

By CNSNews.com Staff | February 1, 2019 | 12:52 PM EST

Rep. Ilhan Omar (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Ilhan Omar appeared on the Daily Show With Trevor Noah on Thursday and criticized the increase in federal defense spending since 9/11 while explaining how she believes federal spending needs to change.

“What we can do is that we can stop the constant increase of our defense budget,” Ilhan said. “Since 9/11, it increased nearly 50 percent. We have not had that high of an increase in education funding. We haven’t had that kind of increase in health care funding. Right.

“We don’t invest in the things that actually positively impact people but we are willing to invest in things that give contracts to companies and corporations that benefit from our struggles and our pains and that’s not going to happen under our watch,” she said.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has published a series of historical tables on federal budget data. Table 8.8, which is “Outlays for Discretionary Programs in Constant (FY 2009 Dollars: 1962-2023,” shows the changing in Defense spending in constant inflation-adjusted dollars.

According to Table 8.8, the federal government spent $408.4 billion in constant fiscal 2009 dollars on national defense in fiscal 2001, the year that the 9/11 attack took place. In fiscal 2018, the latest fiscal year concluded, the table estimates the federal government spent $560.3 billion on national defense in constant fiscal 2009 dollars.

That is an increase of $151.9 billion, or 37.2 percent.

The video of Trevor Noah’s interview with Rep. Ilhan Omar can be seen by clicking here. A transcript of Noah’s exchange with Ilhan on the budget issue is below:

Trevor Noah: If you have been following the shutdown, for most people the story has been that Democrats and Republicans are now working on a plan to fund border security and, you know, you listen to Nancy Pelosi speak and it seems like the biggest sticking point is really the wall, but a lot of people agree on the basic fundamentals of giving more money to the border for, you know, border security and improving that. But yourself and a few of your freshman colleagues have come out and you wrote a letter saying, no, we should cut funding to these programs. That is a really controversial stance to take. Why?

Omar: “I mean, because what we have been doing is that we’ve just had slush funds to fund private detention centers for young kids who are being put in cages. That is not in line with our values. We want to make sure that every single dollar that we have is used to actually care and provide something that is in line with our values. We have--You know, Minnesota, that is where I come from. It is negative 60 degrees yesterday. We have a homeless crisis. We have people who are freezing, and what we can do with the money that we have is make sure that we’re investing $20 billion in providing homes to our homeless folks. That would get rid of homelessness in this country.

“What we can do is that we can stop the constant increase of our defense budget. Since 9/11, it increased nearly 50 percent. We have not had that high of an increase in education funding. We haven’t had that kind of increase in health care funding. Right.

“We don’t invest in the things that actually positively impact people but we are willing to invest in things that give contracts to companies and corporations that benefit from our struggles and our pains and that’s not going to happen under our watch.”

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