Pentagon Spending Letter to Congress 2013

Dear Members of Congress:

The undersigned organizations represent millions of Americans with a tremendous stake in the outcome of the ongoing budget process. As Congress debates the debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts and spending in 2013 and going forward, our organizations urge you to ensure adequate funding to preserve the basic functions of government and real security for all our people.

There are two paths toward accomplishing this goal and both must be followed. First, additional new revenues must be enacted. President Obama has identified at least $600 billion in new revenues if the wealthiest Americans are required to pay their fair share. We can raise more than $600 billion by closing tax loopholes for corporations, for the wealthiest 2 percent and for companies that outsource jobs overseas.

Second and just as important: we must rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. We believe Pentagon spending should be cut by a minimum of $500 billion to $550 billion over 10 years – similar to the automatic cuts to the Pentagon that go into effect beginning in March if Congress does not act (the “sequester”). We note that many military experts say cuts could be as high as $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over the next decade without compromising national security.

Pentagon spending, which comprises more than half of the current discretionary budget, continues to absorb the lion’s share of the money Congress appropriates. Without more cuts to Pentagon spending, even very deep cuts to all other discretionary funding taken together will fall far short of alleviating deficit spending and the rising debt.

We view reining in wasteful Pentagon spending as a mandate. We must stop paying for the things we don’t need so that we can afford to pay for the things we do need. This includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the Affordable Care Act. And it includes discretionary domestic programs such as Head Start, nutrition aid, job training, education and cancer screening, just to name a few.

As a community of advocates, we are committed to creating good jobs here in America, providing our families with security and building a brighter future for our children.  If we invest some of the billions we spend on the Pentagon in other sectors of our economy, we would actually generate MORE jobs, strengthening the middle class and protecting essential services that help our families. Economists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst found that public dollars invested in clean energy, health care, and education all create significantly more jobs within the U.S. economy than investing an equivalent amount in the military.** As we struggle with high unemployment rates across the nation, this is a critical point to consider.

We want a safe and secure nation. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance. Proposals to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending should not threaten that priority. But the Pentagon budget should not be immune from oversight and fiscal responsibility. Like any other department, the Pentagon must be held accountable for its spending and be able to prove that its programs are a responsible and worthwhile use of our limited tax dollars.

We believe budget decisions reflect our values, and we believe that we can responsibly pare down wasteful Pentagon spending without compromising our nation’s security. We can shift from spending on outdated, unnecessary weapons to investments in projects that keep us secure and help us prosper- first responders, teachers, bridges, roads, and rails. As you face some of the most difficult budgeting challenges in our nation’s history, we urge you to consider all the paths we must embark upon in order to achieve responsible investments at home.

Sincerely, [State and Local List in formation and listed below the National Groups.]

National Groups:

Action for the Common Good
Advocacy for Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Alliance for a Just Society
Alliance for Global Justice
Amalgamated Transit Union
American Friends Service Committee
American Voices Abroad Berlin
Americans for Democratic Action
Brake the Cycle of Poverty
Campaign for America’s Future
Campaign for Community Change
Caring Across Generations
Center for Conscience & War
Center for Effective Government
Center for International Policy
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Children’s Defense Fund
Cleric of St. Viator Provincial Council (Viatorians)
Coalition for Peace Action
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition on Human Needs
Collaborative Center for Justice
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS)
Common Cause
Community Action Partnership
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Courage Campaign
CREDO Action
Democracy for America
Democratic Socialists of America
Disciples Justice Action Network
Documents International
Earth Peace
Education Equals Making Community Connections
Every Child Matters Education Fund
Families USA
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Feminist Majority
Foreign Policy In Focus
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends of the Earth
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Gray Panthers
Historians Against War
Independent Living, Inc.
Jobs With Justice
Just Foreign Policy
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Leadership Council, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Metropolitan Community Churches
Military Families Speak Out
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Alliance of HUD Tenants
National Black Justice Coalition
National Council of Jewish Women
National Employment Law Project
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Immigration Law Center
National Jobs for All Coalition
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Network of Abortion Funds
National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW Local 2320
National Priorities Project
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
New Priorities Network
No FEAR Coalition
Office for Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Franciscan Friars (OFM) Holy Name Province
Office of Peace and Justice, Augustinians : Province of St. Thomas of Villanova
Peace Action
Peace Action West
Pentagon Budget Campaign
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Progressive USA
Progressives United
Promise the Children (Unitarian Universalist)
Raging Grannies
Rebuild the Dream
School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team
Social Justice Ministry of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Social Security Works
Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice
The Global Justice Institute
The Shalom Center
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Electrical Workers (UE)
United for a Fair Economy
United For Peace and Justice
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United States Student Association
US Missionary Oblates, JPIC
US Peace Council
Veterans For Peace
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Voices for Progress
War Resisters League
Wider Opportunities for Women
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)

State and Local


Arkansas Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)


Activist San Diego
Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice
Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
CODEPINK Golden Gate Chapter
Just Transition Alliance
Labor/Community Strategy Center
Montrose Peace Vigil
Nicaragua Center for Community Action (NICCA)
our developing world
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
San Jose Peace & Justice Center
The Petaluma Progressives
Topanga Peace Alliance and MLK Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Peace
Tri-Valley CAREs


Boulder Global Solutions
duckdaotsu media arts


New Haven Peoples Center


Pacem in Terris


First Unitatian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches Social action Committee
Florida Consumer Action Network
O F L Labor outreach
War vs Human Needs, South Florida
SEIU 615


Georgia Rural Urban Summit
Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement


Chicago Area Peace Action
Chicago Political Economy Group
Democracy In Action Chicago
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice
Voices for Creative Nonviolence


American Friends Service Committee-Indiana Peacebuilding
Central Indiana Jobs with Justice
Veterans For Peace Chapter 49


Iowa Citizen Action Network


Physicians for Social Responsibility – KC


Peace Action Maine
Maine Center for Economic Policy
Maine People’s Alliance


Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home
Howard County Peace Action
Maryland United for Peace and Justice
Montgomery County Young Democrats
Peace Action Montgomery
Prince George’s County Peace & Justice Coalition
Progressive Maryland
St. Francis of Assisi Pax Christi, Derwood, MD


Arise for Social Justice
Arlington 25% Solution
Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Boston Democratic Socialists of America
Cambridge United for Justice with Peace
Chelsea Uniting Against the War
Dorchester People for Peace
Fund Our Communities Not War
Massachusetts Peace Action
Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council
Milton for Peace
MoveOn Boston Coordinating Council
North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice
Salem Peace Committee
Survivors, Inc.
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment

Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit
Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice (GLNAWI)
Michigan Atheists
Michigan Citizen Action
Red Cedar Friends Meeting


Fairmont, Minnesota Peace Group


Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition
Peace Economy Project
PeaceWorks, Kansas City
Project HOPE


Jeannette Rankin Peace Center


Nebraskans for Peace
Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Justice Team

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action
NH Peace Action

New Jersey

Coalition for Peace Action
Coalition for Peace Action of Monroe
CWA Local 1081
CWA Local 1082
East Brunswick Congregational Church
Elders for the Future
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Peace Action
NJ State Industrial Union Council

New York

Brooklyn For Peace
Broome County Peace Action
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
Commission on Peace and Justice of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
Gray Panthers, NYC Network
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
Peace Action Bay Ridge
Peace Action Manhattan
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action of Central New York
Syracuse Peace Council
Western New York Peace Center, Inc

North Carolina

Alamance Peace Action
Black Workers For Justice
Covenant Community Church – Raleigh
Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble
Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center
Good Work
Highland UMC  Micah 6:8
Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina
N.C. Public Service Workers Union- U.E. Local 150
NC Peace Action
New South Network of War Resisters
North Carolina Council of Churches
Peace & Earth Committee of Asheville Friends Meeting
Return Our War Dollars (ROWD) – Raleigh Peace Action
Social Justice Ministry, Community United Church of Christ
Veterans For Peace, Eisenhower Chapter
Wake County Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Witness for Peace Southeast


Cleveland Jobs with Justice
Community Organizing Center
Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio
Heights Christian Church
Miami Valley Full Employment Council
Northeast Ohio Anti War Coalition
Organize! Ohio
Progressive Democrats of America Ohio
Progressive Peace Coalition
Stop Targeting Ohio’s Poor
The People’s Empowerment Coalition of Ohio (PEC)
Veterans for Peace Ohio
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 39
West Side Peace Vigil
Women Speak Outfor Peace and Justice


Al-Nakba Awareness Project
Eugene City of Peace
Oregon Action
Oregon PeaceWorks
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)


Alliance for a Sustainable Future
Brandywine Peace Community
Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
Keystone Progress
Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern (LEPOCO Peace Center)
Main Line Peace Action
Peace and Justice Committee of Allentown First Presbyterian Church
Peace and Social Concerns
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Philly Neighborhood Networks
Thomas Merton Center

Rhode Island

East Bay Citizens for Peace


Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice
Tennessee Citizen Action


Border Agricultural Workers Project
Dallas Peace Center


Richmond Peace Education Center
Virginia Organizing


Community to Community
Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane
Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone
Washington Community Action Network
Washington CAN! Education and Research Fund
Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation

West Virginia

National Association of Social Workers, West Virginia Chapter
West Virginia American Friends Service Committee
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
West Virginia Nurses Association
West Virginia Patriots for Peace
WV/KY Healthcare Division SEIU 1199
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network


9to5 Milwaukee
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998
Ceo Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Democratic Party of Milwaukee County
Fox Valley Peace Coalition
Gay People’s Union
Green Party of Wisconsin
Kickapoo Peace Circle
Linda & Gene Farley Center for Peace, Justice & Sustainability
Madison Area Peace Coalition
Milwaukee Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter
Peace Action Wisconsin
Progressive Democrats of America in Milwaukee County
Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice
School Sisters of St. Francis
Shama, Inc
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 102
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

**The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Economics (December 2011)**