By RootsAction

Many activists and — to take them at their word — even many Congress Members want military spending dramatically reduced and moved into useful spending areas. You can get dozens of Congress Members and hundreds of peace groups to sign letters or support bills to reduce military spending by 10%. But when President Biden proposed to increase military spending, some leading progressive Congress Members staked out as a starting point a position in support of his proposal for a 1.6% increase over Trump’s last bloated Pentagon budget, and against an additional 3.3% increase made by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Even some peace groups quickly echoed that line.

But we shouldn’t merely protest against a proposed $25 billion increase while defending Biden’s $12 billion increase. Nor should we stop at protesting the whole $37 billion increase. A reduction is favored by the majority of the people who pay for all these wars for “democracy.”

And we shouldn’t be confining our requests of Congress Members to signing letters or sponsoring hopelessly good bills or joining well-named caucuses. We should be insisting that they publicly and emphatically commit to voting No on any bill that funds military spending at more than 90% of the past year’s level.

In July 2020, 93 Congress Members voted to cut military spending by 10%. Did they mean it?

If Republicans oppose the upcoming military spending bill (for their own bizarre reasons) it would take only five of those 93 insisting on reduced spending to halt or reshape the bill. Imagine what a credible public commitment by 93 of them right now could do!

Right now there are five cosponsors of a non-binding resolution (H.Res.476) that proposes to move $350 billion out of the Pentagon’s budget (roughly a 50% reduction to that portion of military spending). But finding five willing to commit to voting No unless the reduction is at least 10% is a whole different question from adding sponsors to a resolution that’s not likely to be voted on.

We’ve got our work cut out for us. We need to flood Congressional offices with emails and phone calls. You can start by taking action on Progressive Hub using the form on this page.