July 13, 2020 – WorldBeyondwar.org via Peace Action Wisconsin
Votes are now expected in the coming weeks in both houses of Congress on moving a mere 10% of the Pentagon’s budget to useful human and environmental purposes.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Email your Representative and Senators.
3) Phone the U.S. Capitol at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative and Senators. You just have to know your own address and that you want them to vote to move money out of the military. If you have more time, phone the local offices and ask for a meeting!
4) Publicly celebrate the Congressmembers who have cosponsored a resolution to move major funding out of the military and into urgent needs.
We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Washington, D.C., since the days of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, with support from Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and a growing list of Congress Members, has introduced a resolution to move $350 billion per year out of militarism and into useful things.
On a smaller scale, but with the potential for a more immediate result, a growing list of both Senators and Representatives have created, in both Houses, amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act to move $74 billion a year from militarism to human needs.
We urgently need to move all of Congress in this direction. Click here to email your Representative and Senators. Then please forward this email to everyone you can!
The U.S. government is expected to spend, in its discretionary budget in 2021, $740 billion on the military and $660 billion on absolutely everything else: environmental protections, energy, education, transportation, diplomacy, housing, agriculture, science, disease pandemics, parks, foreign (non-weapons) aid, etc., etc.
Moving $74 billion would result in $666 billion on militarism and $734 billion on everything else.
Moving $350 billion would result in $390 billion on militarism and $1,010 billion on everything else.
Where would the money come from? According to Rep. Lee‘s resolution:
(1) eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations account and saving $68,800,000,000;
(2) closing 60 percent of foreign bases and saving $90,000,000,000;
(3) ending wars and war funding and saving $66,000,000,000;
(4) cutting unnecessary weapons that are obsolete, excessive, and dangerous and saving $57,900,000,000;
(5) cutting military overhead by 15 percent and saving $38,000,000,000;
(6) cutting private service contracting by 15 percent and saving $26,000,000,000;
(7) eliminating the proposal for the Space Force and saving $2,600,000,000;
(8) ending use-it-or-lose-it contract spending and saving $18,000,000,000;
(9) freezing operations and maintenance budget levels and saving $6,000,000,000; and
(10) reducing United States presence in Afghanistan by half and saving $23,150,000,000.
Where would the money go?
The priorities of the U.S. government have been wildly out of touch with both morality and public opinion for decades, and have been moving in the wrong direction even as awareness of the crises facing us has inched upward. It would cost about $30 billion per year, according to UN figures, to end starvation on earth, and about $11 billion to provide the world with clean drinking water. Less than $70 billion per year would wipe out poverty in the United States. Spent wisely, $350 billion could transform the United States and the world, and certainly save even more lives than are spared by taking it away from the military.
Whatever funding is needed to aid anyone in the transition from military to non-military employment will be a small fraction of the whole.
Click here to email Congress now!
—The World BEYOND War Team