The progress toward halting arms shipments to warring sects in Iraq and Syria actually came in the form of two defeated amendments that demonstrate growing bipartisan support for an exit from conflicts that have already cost us $3 trillion dollars. That’s enough to graduate every college student debt free, rebuild our transportation infrastructure and still provide Americans with a $1 trillion tax break.

First I offered an amendment to stop funding the Iraq Train and Equip program and apply $715 million to deficit reduction. Next, teaming up with my Republican colleague, Rep. Curt Clawson of Florida, we offered an amendment to defund the Syria Train and Equip Program of $600 million and apply that money to reduce the deficit.

While both bipartisan amendments were defeated, it’s important to note that they received about a third of their votes from Republicans – more than we ever would have received in past years. Moreover, both the Chairman and the Ranking Democratic Member of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee praised our intent – and were clear that they share many of our deep concerns. Other colleagues expressed similar feelings privately. We will keep pressing efforts to stop U.S. weapons and training for Iraq,Syria and the rest of the Middle East until we have the majority we need. – Nolan’s 6/15/15 Newsletter