Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democrats and Republicans decided to join hands once more late Monday—in an overwhelming 85-10 vote—to affirm that militarism and massive handouts to defense contractors top education, healthcare, and anti-hunger programs on the list of congressional priorities. (Image: ACLU)

Millions Lack Food, Housing, and Healthcare, But 38 Democrats Just Joined GOP to Spend $716 Billion on Endless War and Empire

Had the Pentagon's budget simply remained the same as it was in 2017, Congress "could have funded public college for every student in the U.S. and had $12 billion left over," noted media analyst Adam Johnson

Jake Johnson

In a vote that further "entrenches endless war and bloated Pentagon spending" and places greater nuclear capacity in the hands of President Donald Trump, 38 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) joined nearly every Senate Republican on Monday to pass a $716 billion defense bill that boosts military spending by over $80 billion and authorizes another $21.6 billion for nuclear weapons programs.

"We cannot spend more on our military than the next 10 nations combined while millions of Americans do not have food and housing and healthcare...That is why I voted against spending $716 billion on the military today."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Had the Pentagon's budget simply remained the same as it was in 2017, Congress "could have funded public college for every student in the U.S. and had $12 billion left over," noted media analyst Adam Johnson.

But Democrats and Republicans decided to join hands once more late Monday—in an overwhelming 85-10 vote—to affirm that militarism and massive handouts to defense contractors top education, healthcare, and anti-hunger programs on the list of congressional priorities.

Slamming the bipartisan vote to pass the military measure—officially titled the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515)—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote: "We cannot spend more on our military than the next 10 nations combined while millions of Americans do not have food and housing and healthcare...That is why I voted against spending $716 billion on the military today."

Joining Sanders in voting against the military spending bill on Monday were Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Meanwhile, these 38 Senate Democrats and King joined a nearly united GOP caucus in approving the measure:

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Tom Carper (D-Del.)
Bob Casey (D-Penn.)
Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems to Biden: Overhaul Drone Program That Has Killed Thousands of Civilians

"In too many instances, U.S. drone strikes have instead led to unintended and deadly consequences—killing civilians and increasing anger towards the United States."

Brett Wilkins ·


War With Russia Over Ukraine 'Last Thing' US Needs, Say Progressives

Urging diplomacy over violence, foreign policy experts say "Biden's failure to acknowledge Russia's legitimate security concerns has led to the present impasse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Asked About Black Voters, McConnell Says Quiet, Racist Part Very Loud

"The othering of Americans who aren't white was never a 'quiet part,'" said Rep. Ilhan Omar, "it has always been loud and painful for everyone who has experienced it."

Brett Wilkins ·


'A Basic Human Right': Bowman, Markey Unveil Affordable Energy Bill

Sen. Ed Markey called the proposal "the ambitious and comprehensive legislation we need to help ensure the health and safety of American families and support a just transition away from fossil fuel consumption."

Julia Conley ·


Heavily Polluted Louisiana Community Asks EPA to Step In

"Louisiana has failed to protect fenceline communities, including St. John residents, from the harms of highly polluting facilities," said one local advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo