Messaging Guidance: Cut the FY 2021 Pentagon Budget


This week, Congress will consider a bill to appropriate nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars for the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2021. Members of Congress should push back against this runaway spending and call to cut the Pentagon budget and reinvest in meeting human needs.


The country is facing one of the greatest economic downturns in our history, and like everyone else, the Pentagon must recalibrate its priorities.

  • Everyday people are being forced to prioritize their finances and reduce their own budgets; it is beyond reasonable to ask the Pentagon to do the same.
  • Reducing the massive $740 billion budget would provide tens of billions in savings that can be redirected to support the housing, healthcare, and education needs of the U.S. people in this time of crisis.
  • Polling shows that the public does not want ever-expanding Pentagon budgets. They want us to finally put people over the Pentagon when it comes to national security spending.


High levels of spending at the Pentagon has failed to keep people in the United States safe from the threats we face today.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how misprioritized our security spending is today.
  • The enormous cost of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that we can’t spend unlimited amounts of money on war and weapons when people desperately need health care and economic security.
  • The security challenges of the 21st century – from pandemics to the climate crisis to mass inequality to white nationalism – will not be solved by buying another aircraft carrier or building more nuclear weapons.
  • The recent protests around racial justice underline how much work we still need to do at home. Instead of spending trillions on unwinnable wars and perpetuating state violence, we should be putting our efforts toward finally addressing our own.
  • S. national security is best served by sweeping investments in healthcare for all, good-paying, unionized green jobs, and affordable housing.


Congress has an opportunity to reimagine how the United States spends to build security here and around the world by investing in human needs and solutions to systemic challenges to human security. 

  • It won’t do us any good if we have a massive military, but a country devastated by the coronavirus and its consequences. It’s time to take a hard look at Pentagon spending and make the cuts we need in order to fund our economic recovery.
  • In Fiscal Year 2022, the Budget Caps of 2011 will end, meaning that Congress will have the opportunity to fundamentally reform U.S. security spending for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • Congress must start now, in the face of one of the greatest health and economic crises we’ve experienced in our country’s history, and reorient our security spending to help address this current crisis, and begin to prepare for the biggest threat to the national security of the United States tomorrow – the climate crisis.


Read a PDF version here.