No new defense funding in infrastructure bill
Defense funding for the Pentagon, which has never passed an audit, is already at an all-time high. Instead of further lining the pockets of defense contractors, we must cut Pentagon dollars from the infrastructure bill and ensure our tax dollars benefit communities suffering from housing insecurity, hunger, and violent racist and patriarchal policymaking.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer,
The undersigned 48 advocacy, faith, grassroots, and government oversight organizations are troubled by reports that Members of Congress are considering adding new funding for the Department of Defense to forthcoming infrastructure and recovery legislation. We join 24 Members of Congress led by Representatives Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, and Cori Bush in strongly urging that no new Pentagon funding is included in the Build Back Better agenda.
We are a nation experiencing multiple crises. We are recovering from a year of record unemployment and housing insecurity, reeling from the loss of loved ones, staggering under the weight of multiplying medical and student loan debt, confronting systemic racism and violent white nationalism, and combating the ongoing climate crisis. Militarized spending has not solved these problems, and in many ways has made them worse. Every additional dollar allocated to the Pentagon is another dollar that is not being used to address these urgent challenges, and will not provide the relief our communities desperately need.
There is already a well-established process by which military funding is debated and considered by Congress. Through this process, President Biden has already proposed a sky-high $753 billion for the Pentagon. Defense contractors have already received and misspent COVID relief money, and the Pentagon cannot account for the money it currently receives from taxpayers, having failed all four audits it has conducted in its entire history. It is urgent that Congress focus its efforts to rebuild a U.S. economy fit for the 21st century by increasing opportunities for jobs, healthcare and a green economy, rather than entertaining even a cent more in giveaways to war profiteers and weapons manufacturers, as those dollars are painfully and crucially needed to provide relief to working families of every stripe across the country.
We therefore urge you to ensure that no new Pentagon money is included in the forthcoming infrastructure legislation, and that the bill instead focuses squarely on our communities’ most urgent needs.
Action Center on Race & the Economy
American Friends Service Committee
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Beyond the Bomb
Brave New Films
Center for International Policy
Center on Conscience and War
Coalition for Human Needs
Council for a Livable World
Democracy for America
Eisenhower Media Network
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends of the Earth US
Jewish Voice for Peace Action
Justice is Global
National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
New Internationalism Project at Institute for Policy Studies
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Pax Christi USA
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Progressive Democrats of America
Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
Veterans For Peace
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Win Without War
Working Families Party
World BEYOND War
State and Local Organizations:
Broward for Progress, Broward County, Florida
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington D.C.
Mainers for Accountable Leadership
Massachusetts Peace Action
Peace Education Center, Lansing, Michigan