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Washington, D.C. June 15, 2020 – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a resolution calling for significant cuts to the Pentagon budget. Last year’s $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act was the largest on record, coming at the expense of health care, education, infrastructure spending, and public health research. In the middle of a global pandemic, it’s more clear than ever that wasteful spending on unnecessary and endless wars does not keep our country safe or healthy.

“For years, our government has failed to invest in programs that actually keep our country safe and healthy. The prioritization of defense spending and the underinvestment in public health has led to 10 times more deaths from COVID-19 than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By over-prioritizing the Pentagon and military solutions, our country is drastically underprepared for any crisis that needs a non-military solution.

“We cannot continue to prioritize funding for a department known for its waste, fraud, abuse, and failure to pass an audit – especially when the money to ‘protect national security’ is failing to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Our foreign policy has been militarized to the point that we must repeatedly resort to military solutions for non-military problems. 

“People expect Congress to focus on those threats most likely to harm them — not waste their money on expensive weapons designed for the wars of yesterday while the most potent threats to Americans struggle to attract funding. Redundant nuclear weapons, off-books spending accounts, and endless wars in the Middle East don’t keep us safe. 

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“We all want to provide the best for our men and women in the armed services. And especially at a time when families across the country are struggling to pay the bills – including more than 16,000 military families on food stamps – we need to take a hard look at every dollar and reinvest in people. It’s time to cut weapons of war and prioritize the well-being of our troops, anti-poverty programs, public health initiatives, and diplomacy.

“Congress needs to prioritize our safety and our future, not more war.”

The full text of the resolution can be found here.