This is the first major appropriations action of the year, and already we're starting off on the wrong foot. This bill spends too much on the wrong things and does not devote enough attention to priorities that we desperately need to focus on.

I have major concerns about the money being spent on additional defense projects in this bill. Billions of dollars are provided for such spending, including military construction projects, new jet engines and tanks, a demonstration project for an air force base in Texas, and a military training range in Puerto Rico. Other members have offered amendments to add billions more in defense spending. I do not believe the supplemental appropriations bill should be a vehicle to ratchet up military spending.

I also have concerns about the money being put forward to help combat drug trafficking in Colombia. Although I am very interested in seeing the drug problem confronted throughout the hemisphere, I am skeptical that sending more military equipment into an already unstable region will be successful. Rather, the problem will most likely be pushed into other regions as a result.

This bill should be limited to true emergency spending, not for additional pork projects in places that don't need it. I urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill.

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