Next week your representative will have his or her first chance to vote on whether the Pentagon budget will be cut this year.
The vote comes as House leaders attempt to make sweeping cuts in federal government spending over the next six months (the rest of this fiscal year). Their current proposal includes cuts in domestic spending, diplomacy, development, and international assistance but allows the Pentagon budget to continue to rise.
Early next week, Rep. Pete Stark (CA) plans to offer an amendment that would insist that the Pentagon budget be part of any effort to bring the federal deficit back under control. Other members may also offer amendments to rein in military spending. Representatives need to hear that their constituents support these cuts .
Are you thinking that your representative isn’t going to be open to cutting the Pentagon budget? You might be surprised. In this fiscal climate, a wide range of legislators and leaders, including representative Eric Cantor (VA), senators Rand Paul (KY), and Tom Coburn (OK), and the members of the bipartisan Deficit Reduction Commission have joined the call for Pentagon cuts.
Urge your representative to support Rep. Pete Stark’s amendment to the continuing resolution requiring immediate cuts in the Pentagon budget.
Find Out More
Here’s some more information about what the House will be voting on next week.
Congress is supposed to pass its funding bills to set government spending levels by the beginning of its fiscal year, October 1. In 2010, Congress didn’t succeed in doing this. Instead, it passed a continuing resolution that keeps the government operating at the previous year’s funding levels. This resolution is due to expire on March 4, 2011. Congress needs to pass some kind of funding bill by then, or else the government won’t have the money to operate.
House leaders want to use this must-pass legislative opportunity to cut large portions of federal government spending. Next week, they will be bringing up for a vote a proposal to reduce spending in so-called “non-security” areas by 15% for the next six months. If this were to become law, many agencies that support large sectors of the U.S. economy, including agriculture, transportation, commerce, and those that serve the most vulnerable people in this country would have to lay off staff and dramatically cut back on their work.
Meanwhile current House proposals would provide an increase for the Pentagon when all other agencies’ funding is being cut.
FCNL and our colleagues in the Our Nation’s Checkbook campaign agree that the federal deficit is too large. Congress needs to take serious and sensible steps to control wasteful and unneeded spending and to raise the revenues necessary to meet the nation’s actual needs. Our main focus for spending reductions is the Pentagon budget. See our ten reasons  why and read Ruth Flower’s reflection on how the question of what this nation really needs  leads to Pentagon spending cuts.