For all the visible divisions between Democrats and Republicans on some hot-button issues, one should never forget that they are both just different wings of the single War Party and this is always apparent when it comes to budget appropriations when the two sides (with a few exceptions) join forces to shovel more money to the already bloated military, while money that is urgently needed elsewhere is denied.
Hours after the Republican Party released a coronavirus relief proposal including $0 for election assistance funding and no additional funding for cities and states as the country continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, allocating $740.5 billion to the Pentagon.
The annual military budget bill was passed with a vote of 86-14, with 37 Democrats joining the Republicans in supporting the proposal. View the full roll call here. [My italics-MS]
Progressives including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),and Ed Markey (D-MA) voted against the bill.
The bill was passed a day after an amendment proposed by Sanders and Markey to cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10 percent and redirect that funding toward significant investments in education, healthcare, and housing in poor communities — was rejected in the Senate, with a majority of Democrats siding with the GOP.
Democrats in the House also overwhelmingly joined Republicans to block a similar amendment put forward by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI).
How money is allocated is always a much better indicator of a government’s priorities than all the speeches in the world. Here we see how even when millions are suffering because of the effects of the pandemic alone, let alone all the other problems such as inadequate health care, the military beast keeps getting fed to excess.