WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a letter sent to Congress today, Public Citizen and 48 other grassroots, climate justice, peace, domestic human needs, immigrant rights, national security and faith organizations expressed opposition to the current sky-high Pentagon budget and urged members to vote in favor of two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022 that would reduce it.
Although the president’s budget request included an astronomical $753 billion in combined defense spending, $23.9 billion was added to this amount by the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. The signatory groups disapprove of both figures and urge members to vote “yes” on two amendments to decrease the Pentagon topline.
Amendment 41, led by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would overturn the $23.9 billion increase added to the Pentagon topline in committee. Amendment 40, led by U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), would go further by reducing the topline by 10% from the authorized level, exempting military personnel and the Defense Health Program.
“Pouring billions more into the military, far beyond even the level requested by President Biden, sends exactly the wrong message at this moment in history,” the letter stated. “We are struggling to end a deadly pandemic, deal with the looming climate crisis, confront racial injustice, and secure badly-needed relief for working people all over the country. These are problems that no amount of military spending could ever solve. Yet we are consistently told that resources are finite and asked how we will pay for efforts to address these challenges even as there always appears to be plenty of money to buy new and unnecessary weapons and fill the pockets of weapons contractors.”
Find the full text of the letter here.