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LEE AND SANDERS PLANS TO CUT DEFENSE SPENDING 2020

BARBARA LEE RESOLUTION

On June 15th, Representative Barbara Lee introduced a resolution calling for significant cuts to the Pentagon Budget. Last year’s $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act was the largest on record, coming at the expense of health care, education, infrastructure spending, and public health research. And now that the world is in the middle of a pandemic, funding for health care is a national defense priority.

The following was posted on the Barbara Lee Press Release for this bill:

“For years, our government has failed to invest in programs that actually keep our country safe and healthy. The prioritization of defense spending and the under investment in public health has led to 10 times more deaths from COVID-19 than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By over-prioritizing the Pentagon and military solutions, our country is drastically under prepared for any crisis that needs a non-military solution.

“We cannot continue to prioritize funding for a department known for its waste, fraud, abuse, and failure to pass an audit – especially when the money to ‘protect national security’ is failing to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Our foreign policy has been militarized to the point that we must repeatedly resort to military solutions for non-military problems.

“People expect Congress to focus on those threats most likely to harm them — not waste their money on expensive weapons designed for the wars of yesterday while the most potent threats to Americans struggle to attract funding. Redundant nuclear weapons, off-books spending accounts, and endless wars in the Middle East don’t keep us safe.

“We all want to provide the best for our men and women in the armed services. And especially at a time when families across the country are struggling to pay the bills – including more than 16,000 military families on food stamps – we need to take a hard look at every dollar and reinvest in people. It’s time to cut weapons of war and prioritize the well-being of our troops, anti-poverty programs, public health initiatives, and diplomacy.

“Congress needs to prioritize our safety and our future, not more war.”

H.Res.1003 (Congress.gov)

Barbara Lee House Resolution to Cut Defense Spending (Lee House Site)

Barbara Lee Resolution Press Release


BERNIE SANDERS AMENDMENTS

On June 25th, Sanders took to the Senate floor to call for a 10% cut in annual Pentagon spending in order to invest in education, health care, and poverty reduction in America's most marginalized communities.

Sanders’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, cosponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would take the $74 billion in annual savings from Pentagon cuts—which exempt salaries and health care of military personnel—to create a federal grant program to fund health care, housing, childcare and educational opportunities for cities and towns experiencing a poverty rate of 25% or more.

"At this pivotal moment in American history,” said Sanders, “we have to make a fundamental decision. Do we want to spend billions more on endless wars in the Middle East, or do we want to provide decent jobs to millions of unemployed Americans here at home? Do we want to spend more money on nuclear weapons or do we want to invest in decent jobs and childcare and healthcare for the American people most in need?"

One June 30th, Sanders called for more amendments to the NDAA, making a total of 6 amendments to the NDAA. Read about them below.

Sanders: Cut the Pentagon By 10% to Hire More Teachers, Build More Homes, and Create More Jobs (Sanders Senate Site)

Sanders Calls on Senate to Reject “Exploding” Military Budget, Invest in Human Needs (Sanders Senate Site)

This press release links to the 6 amendments Sanders made to the NDAA.