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For Immediate Release

Contact

Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action, pmartin@peace-action.org

Press Release

Nearly Half Senate Dems Vote to Move Pentagon Funds to Poor

WASHINGTON -

In response to today’s Senate vote against an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to transfer 10% of the Pentagon budget to help poor U.S. communities, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:

“Nearly half the Senate Democratic Caucus voted today for the largest transfer of the bloated Pentagon budget to the poor.  Congress remains out of step with voters, where over half want to see reductions in excessive Pentagon spending to pay for other priorities.  Current threats to America’s security, like the global health pandemic and economic crisis, have no military solution. Congress must prioritize government spending to help Americans in need during this pandemic.  The pandemic shows that endless wars costing over $6 trillion make us less safe.

“This historic amendment, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Ed Markey (D-MA),  cosponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR),  Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and supported by Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) provided an opportunity to move $74 billion to help voters in real need with healthcare, affordable housing, education and local infrastructure.  Yesterday, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) and Mark Pocan (D-WI-2) led a similar amendment that garnered the votes of 40% of House Democrats.

“Unfortunately, a majority of Congress, predominantly Republicans, chose to maximally fund Pentagon pork despite its demonstrated irresponsibility with taxpayer dollars.  The Pentagon is the only Government agency that cannot pass an audit, has returned over $80 billion in funds it failed to spend since 2013 and half of the Pentagon’s total budget is going straight into the pockets of war contractors.  

“The passage of the overfunded National Defense Authorization Act by the House yesterday and soon in the Senate fails to reflect the priorities of Americans who believe the Pentagon should not consume over half the Unites States’ discretionary budget.”

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Peace Action is the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.

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