Brooklyn Congressional Reps Oppose War Spending

In two key votes in the House of Representatives last week Brooklyn Congressional Representatives took a clear stand in opposition to the Pentagon budget. Representatives Clarke, Towns, Velazquez and Nadler all voted against the entire FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill of $648.7 billion. Unfortunately, however, the bill passed: Vote in the House was 336 in favor, 87 against.

Brooklyn’s Jerrold Nadler, together with Barbara Lee (D–California) and Walter Jones (R–North Carolina), sponsored an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill which would have stopped all funding for combat and allocated funds only for the safe withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan. Also unfortunately, this amendment did not pass: Vote in the House was 97 in favor, 322 opposed. Once again Nadler, Clarke, Towns and Velazquez were in solid support of this important antiwar amendment.

In Brooklyn, the exception is Rep. Michael Grimm (R), whose district includes all of Staten Island plus part of Bay Ridge. Grimm continues to support spending on war.

If Clarke, Nadler, Towns, or Velazquez represents you, please call again to thank them for their vote. If you’re in Grimm’s district, also call to let him know what you think.

Big thanks to all of you who took the time to make these calls. The continued pressure from grass-roots folks in Brooklyn has made our delegation one of the most consistently antiwar delegations in the country. However, we still have a long way to go!

The Obama Administration has clearly decided to continue the war in Afghanistan until at least 2014.

At a time when vitally needed domestic programs are being cut, $648.7 for military spending is far in excess of what is needed to protect national security. ($530 billion is for the Pentagon, and $118 billion is to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.). These misplaced priorities affect everybody! We need to make stronger connections with a wide range of communities to make our voices heard.

Work with our Peace and Economic Justice Committee to reach out to new constituencies in Brooklyn and beyond. Next meeting Tuesday July 19, 7 pm. E-mail pej@brooklynpeace.org for location and to be kept informed of future activities.