Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he’s concerned about a “substantial” gap between what Congress can pass in a year and the amount of money that the administration is trying to spend on the war in Afghanistan.
The Senate is considering an amendment to allow for the U.S. to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan to help boost security.
Hatch said he wants to see a plan that would address the gap in funding by spending $1 billion annually instead of $5 billion a year.
The issue is expected to come up in a vote later this month.
Hatch’s amendment is a response to a March budget request that requested $500 billion for the war, which has been in place for about a decade.
The $500 million would be divided among the government’s two war departments, which Hatch said are underfunded.
The money would also be split evenly among the military services and domestic agencies.
Hatch pointed to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that estimated the war could cost $3.9 trillion to $5.5 billion over a decade and $5 trillion to over $8 trillion over a century.
“I do think there’s a substantial gap between the two, and we need to address it,” Hatch said, “but I think it’s going to take some leadership and some patience.”
He added that “if the president is serious about getting more troops into Afghanistan, he’s going do that by increasing troop levels.
If he’s not, he needs to take his time.”
The Hill’s Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.