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Statement: $25 Billion Pentagon Spending Increase Is Outrageous

WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee today approved a $25 billion increase in defense spending. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:

“When the coronavirus has demonstrated that all the guns in the world can’t protect our national security; when the U.S. spends more on its military than the next eleven nations combined; when we are withdrawing from Afghanistan and therefore reducing required military expenditures; when the Pentagon can’t pass an audit; when the Pentagon continues to lavish funds on the F-35 which is ten years behind schedule, double the original price tag and plagued by performance issues (like engines that don’t work); what possible justification is there for increasing the Pentagon budget over and above the increase already requested by the Biden administration?

“Not so incidentally, the $25 billion spending increase approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee exactly matches the cost to scale-up COVID-19 vaccine production to meet global demand.

“Anyone who cares about our national security should oppose this increase in Pentagon spending and demand instead that the funds that would have gone to the Pentagon instead be allocated to global COVID-19 vaccine production or other human needs priorities.”