Washington D.C. (September 13, 2012) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today spoke out against bloated Pentagon spending and hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer money wasted on unnecessary wars. Kucinich vowed to vote against the “Continuing Resolution” which will fund the federal government for another six months.
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“I rise in opposition to the rule for the Continuing Resolution. The Continuing Resolution contains $99.9 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operation funds to continue the war in Afghanistan and to fund other operations in the so-called war on terror.
“This is on top of over $1.3 trillion we've already spent in waging war abroad. This is a war that cost U.S. taxpayers $2 billion a week. It's a war that according to the Congressional Research Service has cost the lives of nearly 2,000 U.S. service members and resulted in another 17,519 being injured. Yet the war seems to have fallen from headlines in our national conscience. This is wrong.
“We cannot afford another $100 billion on a war that will never result in stability in Afghanistan or the region. War against Afghanistan boomeranged against the Soviet Union. It’s boomeranging against our country.
“When you look at the amount of money that is being spent not just for the war but the United States Pentagon -- we are looking at a Fiscal 2013 budget of $653 billion, spending almost more money than every other country in the world, combined, for so-called defense.
“We have an obligation to defend our country, but we also have an obligation for housing, for health care, for education, for retirement security.
“If you're concerned about Congress regaining authority under Article 1, Section 8, then we should be voting to end this war right now by striking the money for it.
“If you are concerned about the debt, then we should be voting to end this war by taking money away from funding and then you could contribute that to resolving the debt.
“If you are concerned about emboldening radicals in other countries, who are following in the wake of our invasions, then we should be taking the money out of this Continuing Resolution for more war.
“If you're concerned about the budget: that it doesn't have enough for jobs and housing and health care and education and the energy and the environment, then end the war now, vote against it.
“If you're concerned about America taking steps to create peace, then we should get this money out of this budget which creates more war.
“This is the time for us to reclaim our country, which we are losing not just to war but to a national security state, like yesterday when we voted as a House -- I voted against it -- to empower security agencies to be able to intercept the phone calls of anybody in the United States who makes calls internationally.
“We have got to reclaim our nation. This Continuing Resolution doesn't do it. This is the same old, same old, same old:.war and national security state, forget the real needs of the American people.
“I am going to vote against this rule and I am going to vote against the underlying bill.”