WASHINGTON, DC (February 22, 2023) The American Friends Service Committee – a Quaker organization that has worked to end wars for more than a century – celebrates today’s re-introduction of the People Over Pentagon Act by Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Mark Pocan. The bill would cut $100 billion from the massive Pentagon budget, funding that could instead be directed towards improving services and infrastructure for people in the U.S.
“When our taxpayer dollars get invested in healthcare, housing, and jobs, our communities are stronger and healthier,” said Tori Bateman, policy advocacy coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee. “The Pentagon budget, full of waste and abuse, is diverting funds away from those important investments and into the hands of corporate war profiteers – and this bill is an important step towards making the budget work for the people!”
The bill would not cut funding for salaries for U.S. troops or for the Defense Health Agency. If redirected, however, the $100 billion cut to weapons and war spending would be able to triple enrollment in the Head Start program or fund the hiring of an additional 890,000 Registered Nurses.
“Militarism and weapons of war do not help us build lasting peace,” said Bateman. “We need investment in diplomacy, dialogue, and peacebuilding to solve conflicts and investments in human wellbeing.”
AFSC and their constituents will be advocating for the bill at the Capitol and across the country.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace.