Background: The House Passed the Huge NDAA Weapons Budget
On September 21, 2021, the House approved the National Defense Appropriations Act which budgets taxpayer money to the Pentagon and to the weapons functions of the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2022. The House decided that the right amount to allot to so-called defense is $778 billion.
Maryland Peace Action opposes this budget as an extreme distortion of the priorities of our Maryland Peace community, and the priorities of, we would suggest, most American families. We prioritize funding, instead, REAL DEFENSE which is threatened more by infectious disease, environmental degradation, poverty, and hate than the foreign adversaries narrative that large corporations profit from.
Did your Maryland rep vote for PEACE??
Of Maryland’s 8 representatives, only 2 opposed this shameful NDAA. We commend Rep. Raskin for his no vote. We would also commend Rep. Andy Harris if his rationale wasn’t the exact opposite of what we were hoping for: he thinks $778 Billion WASN’T ENOUGH.
Looking closer at this vote, we can home in on some significant MDPA-approved PEACE amendments to moderate the defense budget and work towards resolution in some non-spending issues. Unfortunately, almost all amendments — which were already deep compromises of the full Peace vision — FAILED. But the important thing to do moving forward is to take close note of how our own representatives voted, to be in touch with them about it now, and to keep them accountable in the future.
Check out the scorecard below, based on how Maryland reps voted on the budget (NDAA), the budget’s PEACE amendments, and on a related spending bill HR 5323 for extra military funding in Israel (the “Iron Dome” Defense Program). Read further to find out why we supported (☮︎) or opposed (💣) the items that we did.
Tip for reading this chart: If you’re looking for Peace, look for green CELL backgrounds, not necessarily green “YEA” cards! (A green “YEA” card might be a yes vote for a bad item, so it gets a red cell — not good!)
Explaining the key amendments:
We have broken down the amendments into (1) budget cuts amendments, (2) international regional amendments, and (3) weapon development & transfer amendments. Take a look and then match them to your reps vote in the chart above.
1. Cuts Amendments
2. Regional Amendments
3. Weapons Amendments