After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for a 10% cut to the defense budget in order to redirect that money toward education, health care, and poverty reduction in America’s most marginalized communities during the global pandemic, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently announced his support for the amendment.
The amendment, cosponsored by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would take $74 billion in annual savings from the Pentagon—exempting military salaries and health care—to create a domestic federal grant program managed by the Treasury Department to fund health care, housing, childcare and educational opportunities for cities and towns experiencing a poverty rate of 25% or more. Sanders’ amendment garnered the support of more than 60 national organizations fighting for economic, environmental, and racial justice, and peace.
In response to Sen. Schumer’s vocal encouragement, Bernie took to Twitter on Friday and wrote, “Let me thank Sen. Schumer for his support for my amendment to cut the bloated $740 billion Pentagon budget by 10% and invest $74 billion in communities that have been ravaged by extreme poverty and mass incarceration. This amendment will begin to change our national priorities.”
“Proud I fought alongside Sen. Sanders to ensure we vote in July on his amendment to cut $740 billion defense budget by 10% and put [money] into priorities like health care, housing, childcare in communities with 25%+ poverty—including many communities of color,” Schumer tweeted on Friday. “I proudly support the amendment.”
“Let me also thank Sen. Schumer for securing a vote on my amendment during the
week of July 20th. If there was ever a time to fundamentally change our
national priorities, now is that time. Let’s cut the Pentagon budget and invest
in healthcare and housing here at home.”