from the New Priorities Network
The battle over Pentagon spending will take place in Congress over the next two weeks. This year hawks are actually trying to cut money from Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other lifeline programs so they can add more to the Pentagon. We can push them back.
Military contractors may outspend us, but we can outnumber them! Alert your networks to email Congress this week, call them next week, and send letters to the editor to your local papers. You’ll find resources (details on domestic programs to be cut, talking points…) on the New Priorities Network website.
The House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees are marking up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. This crucial bill will come to the floor of the House for a vote next week. It sets overall military spending levels for next year. GOP leaders are pushing to give the Pentagon more than President Obama or the Budget Control Act (the deficit reduction law) called for.
On top of that, the House Budget Committee is trying to head off military cuts entirely. They want to cut $300 billion out of food stamp programs, healthcare, and other survival programs instead. This would mean another decade of growing military spending on top of the last decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We need to tell our representatives to begin cutting Pentagon spending now because we need jobs, education, healthcare and housing!
Your congressperson needs to hear from you. Email your congressperson this week and say:
- Cut military spending. Cut the waste, stop building useless weapons, end the wars, bring the money back to our communities.
- Save Food Stamps, Medicaid, and other vital programs. Don’t make us pay for Pentagon waste and corporate war profiteering.
- Take a stand for our communities. We’ll support you.
Next week we’ll call Congress about amendments to cut funding for the war, end modernization of nuclear weapons, cut useless weapons systems, and more.
Getting our representatives to take a stand on specific amendments in an election year is crucial.
Progressives need support for speaking out or a kick in the butt if they aren’t. Moderate Democrats and Tea Party Republicans could be swing votes, so they are particular targets for action. (As fiscal conservatives, Tea Partiers should be voting to cut military spending.) Hawks need to hear that their constituents have had enough of austerity while the Pentagon escapes unscathed.
Let’s also catch their ear by using the media – writing letters to the editor, calling into talk shows, and mentioning your congressperson by name. When you make these issues public, you mobilize other people too and greatly increase the pressure on Congress.
Take this opportunity to contact your allies – sympathetic local elected officials, leaders of organizations and faith groups, people who are active to make our communities a decent place to live – and ask them to co-sign letters to the editor or visit congressional offices with you.
There’s a tremendous opportunity here to broaden our networks and take joint action for peace and economic justice because we’re saving vital social programs and creating jobs by cutting military spending!