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The Disgraceful Pentagon Budget Passed Last Night-- Only 51 Dems Voted Against It



As expected, it passed the House late last night, 363-70, but maybe Pelosi and Hoyer don't want voters to be able to find how members voted on the bloated Pentagon budget. If you want to find the official roll call, you need to find the bill "to designate the National Pulse Memorial located at 1912 South Orange Avenue in Orlando, Florida, and for other purposes." That's some way to describe the $778 billion war budget!


So who voted against it? First off, 19 crackpot extremists-- mostly from the Freedom Caucus-- who oppose everything and anything and stand for nihilism and fascism:

  • Andy Biggs (R-AZ)

  • Dan Bishop (R-NC)

  • Ken Buck (R-CO)

  • Ben Cline (R-VA)

  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

  • Bob Good (R-VA)

  • Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

  • Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA)

  • Morgan Griffth (R-VA)

  • Jody Hice (R-GA)

  • Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)

  • Thomas Massie (NRA-KY)

  • Mary Miller (Q-IL)

  • Ralph Norman (R-SC)

  • Bill Posey (R-FL)

  • Tom Rice (R-SC)

  • Matt Rosendale (R-MT)

  • Chip Roy (R-TX)

  • Dave Schweikert (R-AZ)

And the Democrats (51): mostly-- but not all (several worried about primaries from the left)-- progressive members of Congress, who object to the bloat and corruption built into a budget that was even bigger than what Biden or the Pentagon asked for:

  • Jake Auchincloss (D-MA)

  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

  • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

  • Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)

  • Anthony Brown (D-MD)

  • Cori Bush (D-MO)

  • Judy Chu (D-CA)

  • Katherine Clark (D-MA)

  • Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

  • Steve Cohen (D-TN)

  • Gene Connolly (D-VA)

  • Danny Davis (D-IL)

  • Pete DeFazio (D-OR)

  • Diana DeGette (D-CO)

  • Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

  • Michael Doyle (D-PA)

  • Chuy García (D-IL)

  • Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)

  • Al Green (D-TX)

  • Jared Huffman (D-CA)

  • Sara Jacobs (D-CA)

  • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

  • Hank Johnson (D-GA)

  • Mondaire Jones (D-NY)

  • Ro Khanna (D-CA)

  • Barbara Lee (D-CA)

  • Al Lowenthal (D-CA)

  • Tom Malinowski (D-NJ)

  • Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

  • Jim McGovern (D-MA)

  • Grace Meng (D-NY)

  • Gwen Moore (D-WI)

  • Jerry Nadler (D-NY)

  • Joe Neguse (D-CO)

  • AOC (D-NY)

  • Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

  • Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

  • Donald Payne (D-NJ)

  • Mark Pocan (D-WI)

  • Katie Porter (D-CA)

  • Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

  • Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

  • Mark Takano (D-CA)

  • Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

  • Ritchie Torres (D-NY)

  • Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

  • Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

  • Peter Welch (D-VT)

  • Nikema Williams (D-GA)



Congress tossed in an extra $25 billion that Biden didn't ask for. "The bill," wrote Lindsay Wise for the Wall Street Journal this morning, "boosts military spending by about 5% over last year’s budget, exceeding Mr. Biden’s request of $752.9 billion for the Defense and Energy departments’ national-security programs. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he expects the Senate to pass it without amendments, sending it to the president’s desk for his signature."


The provision that would have required women to register for the draft for the first time in U.S. history didn’t make it into the compromise text, after senior Republican lawmakers nixed it in closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate, aides familiar with the talks said.
...Versions of the NDAA that passed the full House and the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year included language that would have expanded registration for the Selective Service to include young women alongside young men.
Some Republicans opposed the registration requirement for women because they saw it as eroding traditional gender roles and family values. Other Republicans and Democrats supported it as a way to promote gender equity and reinforce national security.
“I’m proud to have successfully removed this provision from the final agreement, because plain and simple, we shouldn’t be forcing our daughters and granddaughters to register for the selective service,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), an Army veteran and top-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Pennsylvania Democrat and Air Force veteran who had pushed for the registration provision to be included in the NDAA, pointed to the findings of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, which stated that making all U.S. citizens eligible for the selective-service system would help maintain it as a viable national-security institution.
“She shares the frustration of many of her colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, in the House and Senate, who have worked together in good faith to deliver this overdue change to strengthen our national security,” said a spokeswoman for Ms. Houlahan.

Also this morning, The Hill reported that "Republicans also hailed provisions of the bill that address the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate by including a provision mandating that any service member who declines to receive the COVID-19 vaccine only receive an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions... The compromise [with the radical Republicans] leaves out legislation that would have an Office for Countering Extremism in the Pentagon. That provision was included in the NDAA the House passed in September... 'We did what we said we were going to do, no dishonorable discharge is for service members who refuse the vaccine,' said Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL). 'We killed and buried the dangerous office of domestic extremism.'"



I asked Jason Call, the progressive Democrat running for Congress in northwest Washington against a notorious military industrial complex shill, Rick Larsen, how he would have voted; Larsen, of course, was an enthusiastic YES! "I would have voted no on the '22 NDAA for many reasons. As a lifelong antiwar activist I understand that our aggressive and imperialist foreign policy is in many respects a world police force not for 'good' but rather to protect corporate access to resources and governments. That’s not a controversial statement. I know the flag wavers think it’s disrespectful, but that’s because they want armed forces careers to be about patriotism and protecting America. But these aren’t incompatible ideas because that’s actually what America is. A big ass corporate facilitator. And the military is a big part of preserving that status quo on the global stage. There’s very little 'defense' going on. Furthermore the military is massively wasteful. Money doesn’t go to soldiers, by and large, it goes to weapons contractors. It was recently revealed that the USAF is spending $634 to outfit the F-35 with nuclear weapons. This is plane that has been a boondoggle for a decade and is projected to cost over a trillion dollars lifetime, and costs $44,000 an hour to run, but they don’t yet have them operational. The Ford class nuclear aircraft carriers are much the same. Four years behind schedule and rife with problems. Still won’t be operational for at least two more years. All of that delay-- and don’t get me wrong, the arms/upgrade race is out of control, these are not the investments we need-- is sapping resources that could be going for other needed infrastructure. But yes, with technology, especially military technology, you want to get it right. But this brings us to the added cost of the military on the environment. Stephen Semler just wrote that the US military polluted more than 171 countries. That’s up something like 20 points, since the last analysis said that if the US were a country it would be the 47th most polluting. So now, with 196 countries, we’re 26th? And the military is largely exempt from any of the emissions reductions pledges that came out of COP26? With the climate crisis being an actual national threat, why aren’t we ensuring a fossil fuel free future instead of quite obviously expanding fossil fuel use? The honest players are telling the truth: the military budget is almost five time the cost of the Build Back Better Act-- which hasn’t even passed yet. America is all about misplaced priorities. It really is a snapshot of who is in charge, and cliché as it sounds, Eisenhower did warn us."

Down in Orange County, California, Mike Ortega, is another progressive running on a peace and prosperity platform-- and against another military industrial complex shill, in this case, corrupt and reactionary Blue Dog Lou Correa. Mike told me that he stands "with the Democrats who voted against this Defense bill last night. While working families have been struggling to pay for student loans, rising cost of living, and lack of health care-- the government cannot simply continue feeding the war machine without accountability!"


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