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Lee, Pocan & Auchincloss Lead 50 Members Urging Biden to Cut Defense Budget

WASHINGTON - Today, co-chairs of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI) as well as Marine veteran Representative Jake Auchincloss (D-MA9), led a letter of 50 colleagues to President Biden urging him to decrease the Pentagon’s budget in his forthcoming proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Under Donald Trump, the defense budget ballooned to $740 billion—a more than 20% increase during his tenure. As over 535,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, now is the time to show the American people that the Biden-Harris administration prioritizes their health, housing, education, and jobs over billions more towards forever wars abroad.

“As we face a global pandemic and unprecedented economic crisis, the needs of American families far outweigh the need to continue feeding our bloated military defense budget,” said Rep. Lee. “Analysis from experts across the political spectrum show that we can make significant cuts to our defense budget without compromising our national security or reducing the support, pay or benefits provided to our men and women in uniform and their families. This issue has broad based support from faith groups, conservatives and progressives alike. As Co-chairs of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus, we are calling on the President to rebalance our priorities to build a safer, peaceful, and more prosperous world, at home and abroad.”

“We cannot build back better if the Pentagon’s budget remains just as large as it was under Donald Trump,” said Rep. Pocan. “This crisis has proven that American national security should not be defined by the number of nuclear weapons collecting dust in storage, but by healthcare security, job security, housing security—the security of working families surviving with a roof over their heads, food on the table and money in the bank. We have a duty to invest in the American people more than we invest in defense contractor profits and Pentagon slush funds.”

“As the United States pivots away from the failed forever wars, our generation needs to lay down a marker for the Pentagon” said Rep. Auchincloss. “We can defend America and protect the global commons without the Trump increases to the budget. You don’t have to be a veteran to know that the defense budget is out of control when you have a trillion-dollar fighter jet that can’t dogfight.”

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Representatives Lee and Pocan previously led the National Defense Authorization Act amendment to cut the defense budget in the 116thCongress.

Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), Judy Chu (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (D-IL), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Marie Newman (D-IL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Katie Porter (D-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Takano (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Peter Welch (D-VT) also signed onto the letter.

See the full letter below and here.

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Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat, represents the 13th District in California.

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