Washington (July 22, 2020) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey’s amendment with Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) to cut America’s $740 billion military budget by ten percent to invest in jobs, health care, and education secured the support of 23 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus in a roll call vote during the consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“Trillions of dollars in defense spending did nothing to protect the American people from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Markey (D-Mass.) in his remarks. “Defense spending can’t protect us from the destruction of the environment and the worsening climate crisis…We should prioritize eradicating poverty, not war. We should prioritize battling global-killer diseases, not developing new weapons designed to eradicate the human race. It is time we fund education, not annihilation; Medicaid, not missiles… I thank Senator Sanders and Warren for their partnership on this amendment that would take a small step to begin to address the unconscionable gap in resources in this country…. We will not stop fighting to strengthen the social safety net and protect American families.”
“Today, almost half of the members Senate Democratic Caucus voted to cut Pentagon spending by 10% and invest in human needs. This is far and away the most significant step forward in addressing our bloated military budget and changing our national priorities,” said Senator Sanders. “We are going to continue building a political movement, mobilizing the grassroots across America, to finally reverse the obscene growth in our $740 billion Pentagon budget, and realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of a society that prioritizes social uplift over weapons of mass destruction.”
Other co-sponsors of the amendment include Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The amendment was endorsed by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). In addition to the Senate vote, earlier this week, 93 members of the House of Representatives – 40 percent of the Democratic Caucus – voted on a companion amendment introduced by Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-) and Barbara Lee (CA-).