Common Dreams - September 1. 2021

With public awareness of U.S. war spending elevated in the wake of American troops exiting Afghanistan, a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday approved a $37.5 billion increase to the Pentagon budget from last year, angering progressive lawmakers and anti-war activists.

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) voted 42-17 to approve Ranking Member Mike Rogers' (R-Ala.) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R. 4350). Fourteen Democrats joined with the panel's Republicans to support it.

As Common Dreams reported Tuesday, the NDAA amendment would add $25 billion to President Joe Biden's $753 billion topline military spending request for the next fiscal year—at a time when progressives are calling for bold investment in urgent human needs.

"Today, the House Armed Services Committee voted to put arms dealer profits before the needs of everyday people," Win Without War senior Washington director Erica Fein said Wednesday. "Let's not mince words: Every congressperson who voted for this should be ashamed."

The advocacy group called out the committee's Democrats and Republicans who voted for the amendment while also thanking those who spoke out and voted against it. 

"Right now, people around the country are struggling to survive in the middle of a pandemic that has already taken the lives of millions," Fein said. "Right now, families are being thrown out of their homes because they can't afford rent. Right now, lives are being upturned in Louisiana, California, Tennessee, and beyond by the devastating effects of climate change."

"In the midst of all of this, HASC chose to spend tens of billions of dollars inflating the already bloated Pentagon budget and lining the pockets of wealthy arms-makers at the expense of working families," she continued. "It is astonishing that now, of all times, when we should be continuing to end our endless wars, HASC is doubling down on the same approach to national security we've seen fail for decades." ...
Read full report at Common Dreams