House passes $740 billion defense bill amid the major struggles of the pandemic

“In the midst of a pandemic—as people across the country struggle to make rent, to pay their bills, to survive a deadly disease—it should be unthinkable.”

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The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill, 217 to 197, approving a $740 billion defense bill. This comes at a time when millions of citizens are struggling to even pay their rent. 

Anti-war voices, such as Win Without War, are outraged tweeting: “A $740 billion Pentagon budget is inhumane at any time. In the midst of a pandemic—as people across the country struggle to make rent, to pay their bills, to survive a deadly disease—it should be unthinkable. Once again, the House has voted to put the interests of weapons manufacturers and war hawks over the wellbeing of people here and abroad.”

The bill passes after weeks of debate over deciding to cut military spending by 10% (which failed) and whether or not to permit the Pentagon to use video game streaming platforms as a recruitment technique (also failed). 

But Common Dreams reports some “significant bright spots in the legislation:”

  • Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) provisions to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force, which have for too long acted as blank checks for the United States’ endless wars.
  • Rep. Barbara Lee’s provision to require congressional authorization for war with Iran.
  • Rep. Speier’s (D-CA) amendment to prevent the Department of Defense from spending funds to implement a ban on military service of transgender Americans.

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