\u0022We continue to overinvest in defense while underinvesting in public health and so much more.\u0022\u0022We can spend less on the military and obtain not only the same amount of security, but more.\u0022—Stephen Wertheim, HistorianThat\u0026#039;s what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said during Tuesday\u0026#039;s Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation\u0026nbsp;hearing\u0026nbsp;for Kathleen Hicks, President Joe Biden\u0026#039;s nominee for deputy defense secretary.\u0022The size of the defense budget... has long been a concern of mine,\u0022 said Warren, \u0022but after the past year, watching more than 400,000 fellow Americans die, tens of millions unemployed due to Covid-19, millions more who are lined up at food banks, and even millions more who are on the threshold of losing their homes and being put out on the street, spending $740 billion dollars a year on this one piece of the federal budget is unconscionable.\u0022.@SenWarren to Biden’s defense appointee: Spending $740 billion a year on the Pentagon while 400,000 Americans die and millions go unemployed and hungry is unconscionable. pic.twitter.com/Bxpu6v4CtF— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) February 2, 2021\u0022A budget is about priorities,\u0022 said Warren. When the senator asked if the U.S. can reduce defense spending \u0022without sacrificing our security,\u0022 Hicks said no.Even though \u0022I certainly understand\u0022 how the coronavirus crisis \u0022calls into question what the priorities are across our government,\u0022 said Hicks, \u0022I also... believe that we are a nation that can afford the defense that it needs to have.\u0022\u0022The focus on the top-line number can really obscure a more important conversation around what is it we want our military... to do,\u0022 Hicks said, sidestepping Warren\u0026#039;s point, which was that the national budget should reflect the issues that people in the U.S. want their representatives to focus on, like implementing policies to mitigate compounding public health, economic, and environmental emergencies.\u0022We can spend less on the military and obtain not only the same amount of security, but more,\u0022\u0026nbsp;asserted\u0026nbsp;Stephen Wertheim, deputy director of research and policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and research scholar at Columbia University.The first days of the Biden administration brought a deeply welcome spate of reversals of Trump policies.But on one huge front, the Biden administration has yet to signal any major breaks from Trump’s legacy: the vast overreach of the Pentagon.https://t.co/gP5vNmG4rT— National Priorities Project (@natpriorities) February 2, 2021Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink, pointed out that Warren was the only lawmaker at the hearing to juxtapose the nation\u0026#039;s bloated military budget with the surge in unmet social needs.Thank goodness for @SenWarren, the only one at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to say that the $740 billion Pentagon budget is unconscionable in light of our healthcare and other critical needs.— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) February 2, 2021As\u0026nbsp;Common Dreams\u0026nbsp;reported\u0026nbsp;Monday, all 10 senators behind the GOP\u0026#039;s $618 billion coronavirus relief counterproposal voted in favor of spending $740 billion on endless wars in fiscal year 2021.Those members of Congress\u0026nbsp;were joined in supporting the National Defense Authorization Act by the majority of their fellow Republicans as well as the bulk of Democrats in the House and Senate, providing additional evidence of the extent to which most American lawmakers\u0026#039; priorities aren\u0026#039;t aligned with those of the public.