Once again, we are awaiting a presidential budget request! And once again, reports indicate the president is receiving pressure from hawks and defense contractors to request even more money for the military.
We are concerned that public reporting indicates pressure is only flowing one way. We are also dismayed that, as Fiscal Year 2022 appropriation negotiations continue, Congress consistently chooses to fill the weapons industry's coffers yet pinches pennies when it comes to investing in the basic human needs that actually keep our communities safe.
We believe it is crucial for our movement to make clear that the status quo is unjust, and that more military money won't make us more secure. Please consider signing your organization onto this letter to President Biden, urging him to lower the Pentagon topline in his budget request this year.
You can find the letter draft pasted below and here, along with current signers: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xDqTadMKODKTaWTqxYOg6kXYEHbmHsONPygrgjTCryc/edit?usp=sharing
The deadline for sign-on has been extended to MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28. Feel free to reach out to Savannah Wooten (email@example.com
) or Elizabeth Beavers (ElizabethRBeavers@gmail.com
) if there are any questions. Many thanks for all your work!
Dear President Biden,
The undersigned [NUMBER AND TYPE OF] national organizations are deeply dismayed that our federal military budget has ballooned to [FY 22 050 TOPLINE] during the first year of your presidency. Further, we are alarmed by reports of the pressure you are receiving to request an even greater sum in your proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget, particularly from those poised to profit the most from the Pentagon’s ever-growing largesse.
We write to make abundantly clear that despite what the military-industrial complex and its advocates in Washington may suggest, true national security will not be achieved by pouring more money into military might. Rather, the people of this country require serious, non-military investments to be truly secure, such as pandemic relief, jobs, healthcare, and climate crisis solutions.
This is why many of our groups and the activists we represent have spent the last year tirelessly fighting to strengthen the Build Back Better package and make the case for meaningful social programs. Yet Congress instead gave into the demands of defense contractors by plussing up military spending beyond even the amount you requested at the start of the year. This year alone, three quarters of a trillion dollars slid through Congress with minimal resistance, all while legislators penny-pinched over items like paid family leave, subsidizing school lunches, free community college, and providing dental care to seniors.
Why is it that there is always more money for weapons and war – providing no additional protection for national security and arguably diminishing it – even as our government refuses to invest at scale in its most important resource – its people? Every dollar thrown carelessly to the Pentagon – the only Department that has never passed an audit – is a dollar not spent on the people who need it the most. Unquestioned war spending takes us further away from true, human-centered values and towards a country that acts at the behest of corporations, not its residents.
Presidential leadership is desperately needed at this moment if we are to change course. We urge you to right-size the Pentagon budget this year by lowering the amount of military spending in your Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.