When Congress failed to make a deal on the debt ceiling last year they promised to do something they’ve never done before – cut over $50 billion from the Pentagon budget.
But House Republicans are betraying their promise, and threatening to break the law by passing Military spending bills that not only shield the Pentagon from any of the cuts they promised to make, they actually increase spending on war and weapons by $8 billion. Instead, they want to cut spending on food for children, health care, and help to get jobless Americans back on their feet.
So far, the Senate is standing up to them and promising not to let the House back out on their commitment to cutting Pentagon spending.1 But the weapons-builders are just starting to ramp up their pressure, and the Senate has often caved in to the House in past negotiations over spending.
We’ve been fighting to cut Pentagon spending for years. But Congress has never passed a law promising to do so like they did last year. The law was intended to force members to compromise on the debt ceiling debate – and a lot of Representatives never thought it would go into effect when they passed it. But for once the partisan sniping worked in our favor, and when Congress couldn’t agree to disagree we got our best chance to make real cuts to our war budget since the end of the cold war.
Still, nobody thinks this will be easy. The President and Pentagon have signed on to big cuts in the Pentagon budget, but so far nobody in Congress – not the House and not the Senate – has agreed that we need to go this far. Right now Harry Reid and other Senate leaders are talking tough, but we need them to stick to that promise in the weeks ahead. And it will be a tough position for them to hold with weapons makers spending millions of dollars on lobbying and on the elections.
That’s why we need you to sign on to this open letter today – we’re partnering with our friends at Council for a Livable World so we can get as many people involved right now, before the lobbyists turn up the heat. If we can get enough signers on this letter, we can convince Senate leaders that it’s more important to stick by their promises than to give in to the House and war-lobby.
Will you sign on right now and tell your friends to do the same?