July 17, 2013
The word is that HR 2937 FY 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill ($598.1 billion) will come to the floor the beginning of next week.
As of yesterday, 155 amendments to the bill have been submitted. For the list : http://rules.house.gov/bill/hr-2397 Some of these amendments are for items most of us support: blocking US military engagement in Syria, restricting the use of drones, moving prisoners out of Guantanamo, curtailment of surveillance activities by the NSA. Others point in the opposite direction–attempting to further strengthen US military activity. Most relevant point is that as of now, Republican leadership is considering a rule, which would prevent substantive amendments from being brought to a vote.
While United for Peace and Justice supports all amendments designed to curtail US militarism, we believe that the overall Defense Appropriations Bill should be strongly opposed and that members of Congress must be held accountable for their vote. Hundreds of billions of dollars for more wars and wasteful weapons is a national disgrace at a time when our government is cutting back on Meals-On Wheels and slots for Head Start, along with countless other human needs programs across the country.
Is this only the House Republicans, who are the problem? Unfortunately not.
When the House of Representatives voted on the 2014 Defense Authorization Bill last month, the majority of Democrats voted in favor (103-90). That unfortunately includes some members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. See Roll Call http://www.gop.gov/votes/113/1/244 to see how your Representative voted.
Without additional pressure from us, the results are likely to be the same for the Defense Appropriations Bill.
For sample alert, check out Brooklyn for Peace message to Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) who supported the 2014 Defense Authorization Act.
It’s not too soon to start calling Congressional switchboard and asking your member of Congress to vote NO!
New action alert from UFPJ to follow …
Rusti and Gael
co-conveners of UFPJ Legislative Action Working Group