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Pentagon Vs. Congress on Weapons Spending–You’d Be Surprised Who We’re Rooting for…

May 18, 2010

The first time I tell people that Congress funds weapons that the Pentagon doesn’t want, I get the same reaction every time: “WHAT?!”

We peace-orientated folks have a tendency to blame the Pentagon for many of the problems in the world.  However, these past couple budget years the Pentagon has worked to cut unwanted funding for weapons systems that they either have too many of or don’t need at all.  But even when Defense Sec. Gates threatens to ask Obama to veto bills with funding for these weapons, Congress is still pushing for this wasteful spending.

This past couple weeks, three very significant things happened related to Pentagon spending.

1. Defense Secretary Gates reaffirmed his commitment to tighten the belt of the Pentagon.  In a speech at the Eisenhower Library Gates restated his now famous line: “The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, opened a gusher of defense spending that nearly doubled the base budget over the last decade…The gusher has been turned off and will stay off for a good period of time.” We are pushing to make these words come true!

2. Two subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee voted to keep funding the alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet—485 million precious dollars that the Pentagon doesn’t want, but that Congress can’t seem to keep from giving them.

3. Sen. Inouye Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, stated his commitment to funding the C-17 Cargo Jet and F-35 Fighter Jet alternative engine, funding the Pentagon doesn’t want.

So here you have the Republican leader of the Pentagon asking for less money for weapons and the Democratic Congress pushing for more…I imagine two giants struggling to turn the spigot of wasteful weapons spending; the Pentagon is trying to turn it off while Congress is trying to keep it on.

The natural question people ask is why Congress is pushing so hard for these weapons.  The answer is simple: jobs.

Our task now is to convince Congress that the people in their districts and states would be better off with other types of jobs spending.  Will you join us?

If your legislators are members of the Armed Services Committee in the House or the Senate, tell them to join with the Pentagon in ending wasteful weapons programs.

Call your Representative today and tell them that the need for jobs and state aid is an emergency!  The House is expected to take up a bill this Thursday that will help stop this crisis.  This is jobs spending that would actually make a positive difference in the world.

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