In a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at Republican and Democratic “deficit hawks” who claim the U.S. cannot afford to guarantee healthcare to all, make higher education tuition-free, or fund other crucial domestic priorities but have no issue with voting to hand the Pentagon $738 billion.
“When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion—even more money than it requested—there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
“I find it ironic that when I and other progressive members of Congress propose legislation to address the many unmet needs of workers, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, we are invariably asked, ‘How will we pay for it?'” wrote Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “Yet we rarely hear that question with regard to huge increases in military spending, tax breaks for billionaires, or massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.”
As Common Dreams reported last week, Sanders—in a joint statement with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)—announced his opposition to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, sweeping legislation that increases the Pentagon budget by $22 billion and sets aside money for the creation of President Donald Trump’s long-sought “Space Force.”
The House, with the support of 188 Democrats, passed the NDAA last week. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure as early as Tuesday, and Trump has indicated he will sign the measure.
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