Originally Published in Common Dreams


WASHINGTON - From a press conference on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ unveiling of the People’s Budget, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:

“Once again, the chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-07) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02) released an alternative budget—the People’s Budget—that takes long strides towards a foreign policy that will make Americans safer while reducing outrageous Pentagon spending that steals resources from other priorities demanded by voters. More than two in three Americans think we shouldn’t be throwing more money at the Pentagon, yet the GOP’s budget authorizes a 5 percent increase in base Pentagon spending every year for the next three years. By contrast, the People’s budget proposes reasonable cuts to out of control Pentagon spending in exchange for increased investment in infrastructure, job creation, healthcare, education, and diplomacy.

“With cost estimates for dangerous escalations to our nuclear weapons arsenal ballooning to nearly $2 trillion, the People’s Budget wisely calls for reductions.

“By ramping up funding for the State Department, the People’s budget offers a vision for American foreign policy that values leadership in international diplomacy and aid over leadership in military spending and arm sales. After 17 years of endless war in the Middle East, this country is ready for a smarter approach to foreign policy, and the People’s budget delivers.

“The electorate is looking for a new vision for the country and for foreign policy in particular. The People’s budget embodies that new vision by investing in the interests of the people over the interests of the arms industry and the billionaire class.”