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Lee-Pocan House Amendments Signal Growing Strength of Efforts to Cut the Pentagon Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today voted on two amendments to cut the Pentagon budget, led by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.). The first would have reduced the overall Pentagon topline amount by $100 billion. The amendment received 78 votes for, with 350 against. The second would have rescinded $37 billion in additional Pentagon spending added in committee to President Biden’s topline request. The amendment received 151 votes for, with 277 against.

Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“We are racing toward a trillion-dollar military budget that tolerates and encourages mind-blowing waste, rewards military-industrial complex political spending with unfathomably large contracts – and fails to address priority national security needs.

“With the United States spending more on its military than the next nine highest spending countries combined, there’s no serious argument that additional dollars for the Pentagon makes us safer.

“By contrast, it’s clear that the almost bottomless spending for the Pentagon comes at the expense of other priorities – including national security imperatives like stopping and preventing pandemics and averting catastrophic climate change. Equally, throwing ever more money at a Pentagon that cannot pass an audit comes at the expense of domestic needs, from health care to child care and beyond.

“The good news is: The American people are on to the racket and mobilizing to demand a reallocation of funding away from the Pentagon and to priority human needs.

“Today’s votes on the amendments led by peace and common-sense champions, Reps. Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, are the earlier indicators of that mobilization. An overwhelming majority of the Democratic caucus – along with more than a dozen Republicans — voted to roll back the Pentagon spending increase added in the Armed Services Committee, showing that the Congressional willingness to meet the military-industrial complex’s demand for more, more, more is fast eroding.

“A word to Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing and the rest: You might want to start preparing for some fiscal discipline. The days of profligacy and unaccountability are coming to an end.”