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America's Progressive Community

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2011
12:30 PM

CONTACT: Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

Tim Carpenter, PDA National Director
Tim@pdamerica.org,
413-320-2015
Laura Bonham, PDA Communications Coordinator
Laura@pdamerica.org,
435 336 2123

One Hundred Peace and Social Justice Groups Call Upon Members of Congress to Oppose War Funding

WASHINGTON - July 6 - Progressive Democrats of America, with more than one hundred national and grassroots organizations, have signed on to a letter to the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) calling for a vote against the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill, slated to come before the House this week. The letter raises grave concerns that the bill not only allocates $648.7 billion for continued operations of the Pentagon, but $118 billion to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Noting that the Obama Administration seems determined to continue the war in Afghanistan, the letter also urged CPC members to back an anticipated Lee/Woolsey/Nadler amendment to limit funding for Afghanistan to the rapid and safe withdrawal of all US troops from that country.

The letter states in part, "With an economy teetering at the edge, and an exorbitantly expensive, protracted military engagement in Afghanistan, Congress is again asked to appropriate more war funding." It notes that a decade of military expenditures has accomplished little, while people in the U.S. have grown poorer and tired of hearing that there is not enough money for schools, jobs, health care or housing--but always enough for wars.

The letter notes that the US Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly passed a resolution to end the wars and bring the money home, amplifying the voices of their constituents. It asks the CPC to send a strong signal that they are unwilling to accept the continuation of a failed policy, and are determined to move the country towards a peaceful solution in Afghanistan.

It further calls on Congress "to exercise its Constitutional role of overseeing expenditures on behalf of its constituents," and promises to support the CPC in efforts to redirect national spending priorities away from militarism and towards domestic needs.

The organizations backing this letter are calling upon their members to contact all members of Congress now, urging them to oppose continued funding for the Afghanistan War and to vote against the 2012 Defense Appropriations bill totaling $648.7 billion.

This project was initiated under the auspices of United for Peace and Justice by Progressive Democrats of America and CODEPINK. Other national organizations include Military Families Speak Out, US Labor Against the War, American Friends Service Committee, USAction, Veterans for Peace, National Priorities Project, Pax Christi USA. Full text of letter here.

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites--with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.

For over two decades, the party declined as its leadership listened more to the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up--from every congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken up the political status quo--on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental justice.

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Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. More info:http://pdamerica.org



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