More than one hundred national and grassroots organization have signed on to a letter to the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) calling for a vote against the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill, slated to come before the House this week. The letter raises grave concerns that the bill not only allocates $648.7 billion for continued operations of the Pentagon, but $118 billion to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Noting that the Obama Administration seems determined to continue the war in Afghanistan, the letter also urged CPC members to back an anticipated Lee/Woolsey/Nadler amendment to limit funding for Afghanistan to the rapid and safe withdrawal of all US troops from that country.
The letter states in part, “With an economy teetering at the edge, and an exorbitantly expensive, protracted military engagement in Afghanistan, Congress is again asked to appropriate more war funding.” It notes that a decade of military expenditures has accomplished little, while people in the U.S. have grown poorer and tired of hearing that there is not enough money for schools, jobs, health care or housing – but always enough for wars.
The letter notes that the US Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly passed a resolution to end the wars and bring the money home, amplifying the voices of their constituents. It asks the CPC to send a strong signal that they are unwilling to accept the continuation of a failed policy, and are determined to move the country towards a peaceful solution in Afghanistan.
It further calls on Congress “to exercise its Constitutional role of overseeing expenditures on behalf of its constituents,” and promises to support the CPC in efforts to redirect national spending priorities away from militarism and towards domestic needs.
The organizations backing this letter are calling upon their members to contact all members of Congress now, urging them to oppose continued funding for the Afghanistan War and to vote against the 2012 Defense Appropriations bill totaling $648.7 billion.
Many of the national groups signing the letter are members of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the largest anti-war network in the US. This project was initiated under the auspices of United for Peace and Justice by Progressive Democrats of America and CODEPINK. Other national organizations include Military Families Speak Out, US Labor Against the War, American Friends Service Committee, USAction, Veterans for Peace, National Priorities Project, Pax Christi USA. Full text of letter with signatures here.