Fifty House Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden to slash the Department of Defense’s $700 billion budget.
“While we are heartened that your administration is not contemplating expanding the Pentagon’s already inflated budget, our new Democratic majorities in Congress along with your administration should go further,” House lawmakers wrote Tuesday in a letter to the president. “Rather than requesting a flat Pentagon budget, we urge you to seek a significantly reduced Pentagon topline.”
The letter, signed by 50 lawmakers, was organized by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.).
“Thoughtful analysis from experts across the political spectrum shows that significant cuts can be achieved without reducing the support, pay, or benefits provided to our men and women in uniform and their families. We could cut the Pentagon budget by more than ten percent and still spend more than the next ten largest militaries combined,” according to their letter.
At the same time, the Democratic lawmakers called on the administration to “end the forever wars,” referring to U.S. intervention in conflicts in the Middle East.
“A broad cross-section of voters and organizations, including conservative, faith-based, and progressive groups, support responsible spending reductions at the Pentagon,” the letter added. “The same voters who sent you to the White House on this promise sent us to Congress, expecting us to make this vision a reality and to chart a new course. Therefore, we strongly urge you to request a reduced Pentagon budget when you send your Fiscal Year 2022 budget to Congress.”
The letter did not elaborate on the percentage that needs to be slashed at the Pentagon.
They furthermore argued that hundreds of billions of dollars that are being used by the military could have “greater return if invested in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, global public health, sustainability initiatives, and basic research.”
Efforts to cut the DOD’s budget will likely face strong bipartisan opposition in Congress. Republicans are pushing Biden to increase the defense budget by between 3 and 5 percent, according to The Hill. Their strategy seeks to position the U.S. military to compete more with Russia and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rather than focus on counter-terrorism operations.
The Epoch Times has contacted the DOD for comment.