Your tax dollars at work
Instead of having the Taliban dip into its own coffers to pay for travel expenses incurred while attending peace talks, the Trump administration asked Congress earlier this year to reimburse the insurgent group.
Kevin Spicer, spokesman for House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Chair Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), told Roll Call that the request "would implicate provisions of law concerning material support to terrorists, the Taliban's ongoing offensive operations against U.S. service members, and their continuing lack of acknowledgement of the government of Afghanistan or the rights of women in Afghan society."
The Department of Defense asked for money to cover the Taliban's transportation, food, supplies, and lodging, Spicer said. On Wednesday, the panel instead approved a $690.2 billion defense spending bill for the 2020 fiscal year that prohibits reimbursing the Taliban for any expenses incurred while attending a meeting "that does not include the participation of members of the government of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of women." It's estimated that the Taliban makes at least $800 million every year from opium trafficking.