Sequester = “A general cut in government spending.”
In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion — including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years — about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts would start to take effect in 2013.
Thanks to some of the arrogant, uncompromising idiots in Congress, we are now beginning to see the impacts of sequestration, which led to an $80 billion cut in spending this year, and will lead to another $76 billion cut in fiscal year 2014. Check out this interactive map and fact sheets prepared by the White House about how the sequester will impact your state.
There may not be enough federal money for food stamps, libraries and critical infrastructure projects, but there is damn plenty to go around when it comes to the military!
Last Friday, the House passed a $638 Billion defense bill (315-108). I’m disappointed (but not surprised) to see that all three members of Congress representing New Mexico voted in favor of the bill. After all, New Mexico is home to several military bases.
The proposed NDAA 2014 (National Defense Authorization Act) does a number of nasty things — like forbidding President Obama from closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, limiting his ability to reduce nuclear weapons, and blocking the Pentagon from closing any domestic bases.
There also appears to be plenty of money to pay for Israel’s weapons.
According to the Israeli business website Globes, the Defense Authorization Act triples funding for US-Israeli missile defense programs, including the Arrow but excluding Iron Dome, from $96 million to $284 million in fiscal year 2014. It increases funding for Iron Dome from the $15 million, requested by Pentagon, to $220.3 million.
An amendment to the NDAA “prohibits the authorization of Defense Department funds for tear gas and other riot control items to Middle East and North African countries undergoing democratic transition unless the Secretary of Defense certifies to the appropriate Congressional committees that the security forces of such countries are not using excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful and organized dissent.” This provision does not apply to Israel’s use of tear gas in the West Bank, since Israel is not a country “undergoing a transition to democracy in the Middle East.”
I’m livid, absolutely livid!
I’m sitting down today to write a letter to my Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham to ask her for an explanation for her vote, and I’m going to write Senators Udall and Heinrich because now the NDAA 2014 must return to the Senate for reconciliation, I think. And then I’m going to write President Obama and encourage him to veto the bill if this bloated military hog makes it to his desk.
If Congress can find more than 1/2 BILLION dollars in the budget for Israel’s military, it can damn well find the funds for our public schools, libraries and homeless shelters.
If Congress has concerns about the use of tear gas in Egypt, Turkey and elsewhere, but no concerns about how the IDF is using tear gas against peaceful protesters in the West Bank, then they need to get their heads out of the sand.