WASHINGTON, D.C. (KMOX)-Saying that the money could be put to much better use here, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is calling on congress to transfer money now being used to build infrastructure in Afghanistan, to build roads and bridges in the US.
The U.S. Department of Defense pays for projects through the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program and the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund.
McCaskill says the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program was intended for small humanitarian and repair projects. She says it has ballooned to cover highways and power plants. And she said investments are needed for U.S. infrastructure. “We need to quit building large-scale infrastructure projects in Afghanistan that are not secure and cannot be sustained and instead invest that $400 million into our highway trust fund where we have dire needs.”
McCaskill says building highway systems or electrical girds in Afghanistan, is not a good investment, “In many instances the countries where we have built these, both Iraq and Afghanistan are not prepared to be able to sustain these projects. They don’t have the wherewithal, either the resources or the expertise, to use these structures for the long-term.”
McCaskill’s proposed amendment to defense legislation would allow the funds to be used for projects costing $50,000 or less. Excess money in the funds would go to the Department of Transportation.
McCaskill says the U.S. Agency for International Development could continue funding development projects in Afghanistan.
Copyright KMOX Radio