Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the Hudson River during a military flyover as part of July 4th celebrations on July 04, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

'Inhumane at Any Time,' But During a Pandemic? House Approval of $740 Billion Pentagon Budget Condemned

"Once again, the House has voted to put the interests of weapons manufacturers and war hawks over the wellbeing of people here and abroad."

Eoin Higgins

Win Without War was among the anti-war voices on Friday issuing blistering condemnations of the passage in the U.S. House of a $740 billion defense bill as part of the 2021 Appropriations Minibus. 

"A $740 billion Pentagon budget is inhumane at any time," said the group's executive director, Stephen Miles. "In the midst of a pandemic—as people across the country struggle to make rent, to pay their bills, to survive a deadly disease—it should be unthinkable. Once again, the House has voted to put the interests of weapons manufacturers and war hawks over the wellbeing of people here and abroad."

The bill passed the House on Friday by a 217 to 197 margin, largely along party lines, with 16 members not voting. Only 12 Democrats voted against the measure while 217 voted in favor. All Republicans in the House either voted against the bill or did not vote. Read the full roll call here.

The bill's passage came after a vigorous debate over recent weeks that included votes on whether to cut military spending by 10% and whether or not to allow the Pentagon to continue using video game streaming platforms to recruit impressionable children. Both measures failed. 

"Though last week's votes on whether or not to cut the Pentagon budget by ten percent were hopeful signs of the shifting tides on Pentagon spending, this Appropriations bill is a reminder that there remains much to be done," said Miles. "We are also disappointed that House Democrats have decided to once again couple passage of a bill that fuels militarism abroad with bills that fund our priorities at home, forfeiting the ability to challenge the former without undermining the latter."

Miles did point to what he called "bright spots" in the bill, including two provisions from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force and require congressional approval before going to war with Iran and an amendment from Rep. Jackie Spier (D-Calif.) banning the Department of Defense from using funds to impement a ban on transgender Americans in the military.  


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.

Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer's Drug

Biogen's original price for the controversial drug, he argues, "is the perfect example of why Medicare should be negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Monumental Victory' as Biden Cancels Boundary Waters Mining Leases

Rep. Betty McCollum called the administration's decision "a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·


Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·


'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

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