WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today voted on two amendments to reduce Pentagon spending. The first, introduced by U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), would have reduced the overall Pentagon top line by 10%, exempting personnel and the Defense Health Agency. This amendment received 86 votes for, with 332 against. The second, introduced by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and supported by House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.), would rescind $23.9 billion added to the top line in committee. This amendment received a 142-286 vote. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:
“Today’s vote marks the beginning of a fundamental rethinking of national security. Another tank, navy ship or fighter jet won’t do a thing to protect us against the global pandemic. More guns, bombs and missiles won’t help us avert catastrophic climate change. It’s past time to reallocate spending away from the bloated Pentagon – which has so much money it literally can’t keep track of if – to investments that will truly make us safer and more secure.
“Congress is finally starting to listen to the American people – strong majorities of whom favor reallocating billions away from the Pentagon to prioritize domestic and human needs – rather than military contractors.
“The significant support for a meaningful 10% cut in Pentagon spending is a harbinger of what’s to come as Americans demand a rebalancing of governmental spending.
“Most important was the strong vote to roll back the unconscionable $23.9 billion addition to the Biden military spending request. It’s that vote which shows most clearly that there is now real resistance in Congress to the notion that the Pentagon should always get more, irrespective of its pervasive waste, widespread contractor fraud, competing needs and the enormity of the baseline Pentagon budget.
“To the hawks and war profiteers: the days of Congress blithely delivering a blank check to the Pentagon are over.”