ACTION ALERT: Pentagon Spending Bill Passes House with 70 No Votes. Now Goes to Senate

December 9th, 2021 - by Carley Towne / CODEPINK & Public Citizen

House Passes $768 National Defense Authorization Act in 363-70 Vote

Carley Towne / CODEPINK

 (December 8, 2021) — Last night, the US House of Representatives voted on the $768 National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate must pass the same version of the bill in order for this to be sent to the President. 

There were 70 members of the House who voted no — 51 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

Here are the Democrats who voted no:

 Auchincloss, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bowman, Brown, Bush, Chu, Clark, Clarke, Connolly, Cohen, Davis, Defazio, DeGette, Doggett, Malinowski, Maloney, Doyle, Garcia, Gomez, Green, Huffman, Jacobs, Jayapal, Johnson, Jones, Khanna, Lee, Levin, Lowenthal, McGovern, Meng, Moore, Nadler, Neguse, AOC, Omar, Pallone, Payne, Pocan, Porter, Presley, Raskin, Schakowsky, Takano, Tlaib, Torres, Velaquez, Watson, Welch, Williams, Watson-Coleman

Here are the Republicans who voted no:

Biggs, Bishop, Buck, Cline, Gohmert, Good, Gosar, Greene, Griffith, Hice, Lesko, Massie, Miller, Norman, Posey, Rice, Rosendale, Roy, Schweikert.

Campaign Cash from Military Industry Subsidizes Bad Politics

Stephen Semler / SPRI & Substack

The House passed the NDAA last night, 363-70, which authorizes the Pentagon to spend $768 billion in fiscal year 2022 (pending approval in the Senate). You might’ve come across an amount that isn’t that one, like $740 billion (which refers only to the Department of Defense budget) or $778 billion (= Defense Department budget + nuclear weapons funding under the Pentagon’s control in the Energy Department + military-related spending that happens outside the NDAA’s formal jurisdiction). The $768 billion figure is the sum of Defense Department money + Energy Department nuke money.

Corrupted Redistribution of Wealth

Of that (let’s say) $778 billion Congress will likely approve for the Pentagon, over half of it will be delivered to for-profit companies via contracts. And, eventually, a portion of that money will find its way back to Congress via campaign donations from those military contractors — disproportionately to the members who are both friendly and useful to the weapons industry. We saw this theme play out with last night’s vote.

ACTION: Tell the Senate to Reject the $768 Billion Pentagon Budget

Robert Weissman / Public Citizen 

(December 8, 2021) — The Pentagon’s budget for next year is now in the hands of the Senate after the House approved over three-quarters of a trillion dollars in military spending last night. 

Here’s the actual number: $768,000,000,000. 
•  It’s staggering how much more the US devotes to military spending than other countries. In fact, we spend more than the next 11 countries combined: China, India, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia.

•  $768 billion is *more than four times* what President Biden’s Build Back Better plan would cost per year. Yet politicians in DC — from both major parties — say we can’t afford key elements of that plan, like paid family leave, free community college, or even basic dental care for seniors.

•  And it’s $25 billion more than the Biden administration even asked for. As Public Citizen has calculated, $25 billion is the cost of producing enough vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Our country has (so far) refused to make that crucial investment, but Congress may give that exact amount to the Pentagon *over and above* what the White House requested.

More tanks will not help make life easier for everyday Americans. 
More fighter jets will not end the coronavirus emergency in America or around the world. 

More nuclear missiles will not save humanity from the existential threat of catastrophic climate change. 

ACTION:  The military-industrial complex is a bloated, insatiable, stampeding dinosaur. Enough is enough. Add your name to tell the Senate: Vote NO on the $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act.  Thanks for taking action. 

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen