As the 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill hits the House floor, the American people should be going through the roof!
The FY 2013 military budget (NDAA) is up for a vote in the House this Friday. It contains more than $642 billion of taxpayer money to pay for a war the majority of Americans oppose; nuclear upgrades that threaten non-proliferation agreements; programs and weapons that even the Pentagon doesn’t want. The bill also promotes reckless threats on Iran, enables reckless actions by Israel and prohibits the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States.
Austerity for the Pentagon at a time when the deficit is huge and vital domestic programs are being cut? Not a chance if the House Armed Service has its way. It’s not just the Republicans, who are at fault. The majority of Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee also voted in favor, producing a lopsided 56-5 margin for an outrageous bill. Partisan rhetoric should not obscure the reality that if this over-sized military budget passes the Congress, it will be paid for by programs that affect the most vulnerable-food stamps, school lunches, health insurance for low income children, “Meals-on Wheels” for the elderly.
House members have introduced a host of important amendments. With $88 billion authorized to continue the war in Afghanistan. Barbara Lee has introduced an amendment (#158) to cut all funding except for the purpose of withdrawing all of our troops safely from Afghanistan. Representatives McGovern, Conyers, Kucinich, Frank and others have introduced worthwhile amendments aimed at stopping the war, preventing a military confrontation with Iran and curtailing the use of drones. We don’t yet know which of these measures the Republican majority will allow on the floor for a vote.
What Can be Done?
We can raise our voices with the clear message that it’s long past time to prioritize domestic needs and that Congressional Representatives who say the military is too bloated need to stop voting for the money.
Find out who should be representing you here. Then call the Capitol Switchboard today: 1-877-429-0678.
Ask your Representatives to support ALL amendments designed to end the war in Afghanistan, avoid a military intervention in Iran, curtail drone attacks and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the military budget.
And when it comes time for a vote on the entire Pentagon budget bill (H.R. 4310) let the Representative know that the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act is unacceptable to you and the majority of constituents. Urge your member of Congress to vote NO.
Please circulate this measure widely to family and friends.
Rusti and Gael
co-conveners of the Legislative Working Group, UFPJ