Posted by 19 May 2020
Members of the House Progressive Caucus want to cut military spending as a way to pay the big price tag for coronavirus aid.
The House Armed Services Committee is considering the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which provides authority for the nation’s military activities. This bill also sets the funding level for military spending, which is then funded through the appropriations process.
Last year, the Progressive Caucus wanted the act to authorize military spending at $644 billion a year. Instead, the House approved legislation that set the level at $738 billion. As the process begins this year, the caucus’s members have said they will not support legislation that does not contain a significant spending cut.
The members argue that with other needs taking priority, specifically the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, it is time for Congress to trim military spending. They say the nation cannot afford to keep spending billions of dollars on pricey weapons systems and other military projects that, in the views of these members of Congress, foster conflict around the globe.
This stance puts these Democratic House members at odds with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Many moderate Democrats do not support cutting military spending, and would likely oppose any efforts to concede to the Progressive Caucus’s demands. But without the votes of the more liberal House members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to rely on Republican votes to pass the defense bill this year.
Do you think that military spending should be cut to help pay for the trillions of dollars spent dealing with the coronavirus?