CODEPINK Delivers McCarthy a ‘Blank Check’ for War Spending

May 24th, 2023 - by CODEPINK

CODEPINK Hands Kevin McCarthy
A ‘Blank Check’ for More War Spending

Marcy Winograd / CODEPINK

WASHINGTON (May 23, 2023) — On Wednesday, May 24th, 10 AM (ET), representatives of CODEPINK, including organizer Olivia DiNucci and CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, will take a giant blank check made out to the Pentagon to the Congressional office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy famously said when running for Speaker that Republicans will not write a “blank check” for Ukraine if they win back the House majority and that he would consider a $75 billion cut in the Pentagon budget. Instead, he is supporting a massive increase in 2024 military spending that will be close to a trillion dollars–the highest since World War II.

“When McCarthy was desperate for votes for the Speakership, he promised the Freedom Caucus he would not issue a blank check for military spending, and yet that is exactly what he is doing, despite our $31 trillion dollar deficit and his chest-pounding about not raising the debt ceiling,” said DiNucci.

“McCarthy wants to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class, with cuts to Medicare and Social Security, while military contractors reap profits off a seemingly endless war in Ukraine, nuclear rearmament and  new weapons systems. This is wrong and blatant hypocrisy.”

DiNucci was recently arrested during a congressional hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for holding a sign saying “Money for the poor, not for war.”

“We want to remind Speaker McCarthy that the US has incurred trillions of dollars of debt to pay for unnecessary wars, hurling money out the window to corrupt weapons contractors, as we saw in the recent PBS investigation on price gouging,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin.

“According to Brown University, the cost of US wars from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2022 amounted to a whopping $8 trillion, and we have now spent over $114 billion on the war in Ukraine. If we want to tackle the nation’s debt crisis, we need to stop throwing money at the most powerful and unscrupulous lobby in Washington DC — the military contractors.”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy. AI-generated image by Donald Smith

When visiting Capitol Hill, the CODEPINK delegation will deliver two full-page newspaper ads calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine to dozens of lawmakers’ offices. As a partner in the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, which represents over 100 organizations, CODEPINK will deliver a copy of the Coalition’s Ceasefire petition published as an ad in The Hill on Wednesday, May 24th.

The petition/ad to Biden, Putin and Zelensky reads, “The longer the war goes on, the greater the danger of spiraling escalation which can lead to a wider war, environmental devastation and nuclear annihilation.”

In addition to distributing copies of The Hill ad, CODEPINK will share copies of the Eisenhower Media Network’s ad that ran in the New York Times on May 16th and was titled, ”The US should be a force for peace in the world.”

Supporters of CODEPINK and the Peace in Ukraine Coalition will personally deliver the ads to over 65 congressional home districts.

Marcy Winograd is the Co-Chair of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition