Raps Big Spender Republicans
March 17, 2000
Friday the GOP reached agreement on their budget proposal for 2001.
We know what their priorities are. Once again, they are calling
for huge increases in military spending and tax cuts that will primarily
benefit the wealthy and special interest groups.
But the blame for our bloated military
budget and the disastrous impact it has on other spending priorities
does not lie with the Republicans alone.
Last year, in a 55 to 1 vote of the
Armed Services Committee, I was the only member, Republican or Democrat
to oppose the Defense Authorization bill that was reported out of
Although I supported some of the provisions
of that bill, including the 4.8% pay raise for our soldiers, I voted
against it because: We do not need a military force big enough to
fight two major wars at the same time without any allied support;
We do not need to continue to station 100,000 troops in Europe,
a decade after the end of the cold war; We do not need to spend
$35 billion a year on maintaining a cold war nuclear arsenal; We
do not need to waste another $11 billion on Star Wars on top of
the $60 billion already wasted on that program; We can no longer
continue to spend nearly half of all federal discretionary dollars
on military programs.
This misplaced priority compromises
our national security by shortchanging our investments in programs
that make for real security in a healthy, well-educated, properly
This is not merely a matter of political
philosophy. Our bloated military budget deprives the people of my
district the services from the federal government that they deserve.
"I believe investing in democracy
building and protection of human rights. By investing more in economic
development, conflict prevention and peacekeeping operations we
would build a far more secure world, and minimize the need for us
to deploy our men and women in uniform to foreign shores," concluded