131 House Dems Help GOP Pass Massive Pentagon Budget That Includes Billions for Expanded Nuclear Arsenal

September 20, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

While the world responds with alarm over President Donald Trump’s spontaneous decision to cancel diplomatic talks with North Korea scheduled for next month—which aimed to ease rising nuclear tensions—131 Democrats in the U.S. House joined with the overwhelming majority of Republicans to pass a $717 billion Pentagon spending bill that includes massive expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“The overwhelming cost of unnecessary and aggressive military invasions could be better spent at home meeting human needs.”
—Michael McPhearson, Veterans for PeaceThe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019 authorizes the development of new low-yield submarine-launched nuclear warheads that the Trump administration demanded in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was released in February and denounced by disarmament advocates as “radical” and “extreme.”

On Thursday, anti-war activists and lawmakers shamed the Democrats who voted with the GOP to approve the military spending bill, and warned of its consequences. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), according to Politico, said the measure “pushes us even further and faster down the path to war, toward a new nuclear arms race.”

“Does it make us safer to have a low-yield nuclear weapon on one of our submarines?” Garamendi posed. “Probably not.”

“The U.S. spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined,” noted Rev. Shawna Foster of About Face: Veterans Against the War. Meanwhile, veterans across the U.S. continue to suffer, and “the State Department is underfunded, showing very little is prioritized in diplomatic solutions that would prevent more of our young people from going to war. We have to turn this around now.”

Click Here: camisetas de futbol baratas

In addition to allocating $22 billion toward U.S. nuclear weapons programs and $69 billion for U.S. war efforts, the legislation approves the purchase of more than 70 F-35 fighter jets, the addition of  16,000 active-duty personnel, and Trump’s request for a 2.6 percent pay raise for the military, the biggest increase in nine years.

“Instead of a blueprint for peace and security, this NDAA continues the practice of endless war with no input or oversight from our congressional leaders,” lamented Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), one of 59 Democrats who voted against the bill. “It fails to compel any debate or vote in Congress on our endless wars. And it continues the shameful practice of budgeting our wars off the books with the unaccountable Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) slush fund.”