WASHINGTON — Win Without War Government Relations Director Eric Eikenberry released the following statement regarding the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC’s) markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including an amendment increasing the Pentagon budget by $37 billion above the president’s budget proposal:
“Today, the House Armed Services Committee voted to make a bad situation worse — voting 57 to 1 for an NDAA that takes President Biden’s proposed $813 billion Pentagon budget, the highest in U.S. history, and gratuitously raises it a further $37 billion.
“As millions watch their food and gas prices rise with no relief in sight, lawmakers have again abdicated their duty to constrain Pentagon spending, which eats up over half of the discretionary federal budget. Congress seems poised to marginalize, yet again, domestic programs and foreign operations that build peace, blunt disease, and strengthen democracy in favor of giving the Pentagon whatever it wants, and even more on top of that.
“Nowhere was this bad bargain more apparent than HASC’s vote to approve $45 million for the development of a nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N), a highly provocative and expensive weapon that President Biden, Navy Secretary Del Toro, and past Republican and Democratic presidents decided the Navy didn’t need. This decision, in addition to the topline increase, will make weapons contractors richer and risk future conflicts while neglecting to do anything that betters the average person’s quality of life.
“What all this communicates to working people is: we have money for more nuclear weapons, but not global COVID assistance. We have money for outdated Navy ships and “next-generation” fighter jets that barely get off the runway, but not economic relief.
“As the NDAA process moves to the floor, we urge members to advance amendments that cut the topline Pentagon budget and curtail funding for SLCM-N and a host of other expensive, unneeded, and dangerous weapons.”
Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.