For Immediate Release

Kucinich: Trillions for War and Now ZERO for Peace!

Sacrifice of Peace Can Finance War for 142 Minutes

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted 268-163 to eliminate all funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). 

“It is a sad day when the House votes to eliminate one of the few programs in the budget which is dedicated to conflict prevention and non-violence, while at the same time, enabling another $158 billion in the same budget for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have spent $1.1 trillion for war in the past decade, and in striking funding for USIP, Congress has demonstrated that it is on the war path. Everything in the path of war had better take careful notice,” said Kucinich.

The Weiner Amendment to H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year Continuing Appropriations Act for FY2011, struck all funding - $42.7 million - for the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was created by Congress in 1984 as an independent government-sponsored organization dedicated to conflict prevention. “The two wars will consume $42.7 million in 142 minutes if $158 billion can finance the wars for an entire year.” Kucinich pointed out. 

“This is a wake up call for all Americans who believe in the cause of peace. We must not permit the forces of war to annihilate any hope for peace in our society.  This is a time when all Americans who work for peace to come together, to stand as one, to finally unify our efforts and to demand that our government stand for peace,” added Kucinich. “The USIP funding must be restored.”

Kucinich said that in further response, this afternoon, he will introduce legislation to create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace. “We must continue to challenge the notion that war is in inevitable and that peace is impractical.  Peace is inevitable. It is war that is impractical.  

“Our efforts for peace must unite different groups around the country and appeal to those who have made peace an organizing principle in their daily lives,” said Kucinich.

Kucinich is also consulting with members of the Senate to discuss ways to get the USIP funds restored.

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