Senator previously called for 10% cut to Pentagon budget

Washington (April 9, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after release of President Joseph Biden’s first annual budget request, which included a $715 billion request – and increase of 1.5 percent – for the Defense Department for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The increase represents an $11 billion increase over current funding levels. The United States’ military budget is currently greater than the next ten countries combined. Senator Markey offered an amendment with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would have cut the Defense budget by a modest ten percent and transferred that funding to investments in jobs, health care, and education.

“Trillions of dollars in defense spending did nothing to protect us from a global pandemic, an economic recession, or a climate crisis,” said Senator Markey. “We don’t need to fund a permanent arms industry, we need to fund shots in arms.  I appreciate President Biden’s increased request for non-defense spending, but increasing the already inflated Pentagon budget would be a grave mistake at this moment.

“If we want to meet the growing threats of China, Russia, and the intersecting crises confronting our country, then we must invest in the great people of the United States. It is time that we embrace the reality that national security also means health, housing, and financial security. As Congress debates an annual budget, I will work with my colleagues and the Biden administration to make smart, substantial cuts to the Pentagon budget so we are investing in programs that save and improve lives, not bombs that end them.” 

Senator Markey, along with Congressman Ro Khanna, recently introduced the Investing in Cures Before Missiles (ICBM) Act, which would stop the further development of the Pentagon’s new $93-96 billion ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and direct those savings towards development of a universal coronavirus vaccine, as Senator Markey called for in February, and towards the battle against other types of biothreats.