The United States Senate has approved the largest military budget in history. Its passage sets up a partisan clash with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, which narrowly approved a military budget packed with anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQIA amendments. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called passage of the Senate’s $886 billion National Defense Authorization Act “a glimmer of hope for the American people.”
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: “And a bipartisan process is precisely what the American people are yearning for, in a fractured Congress, Democrats, Republicans coming together to provide something as critical as our national defense.”
Just 11 senators voted against the record military budget: six Democrats, four Republicans and Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders. Senators overwhelmingly rejected an amendment offered by Sanders that would have slashed the military budget by 10%. Ahead of the vote, Sanders said the U.S. should prioritize spending on healthcare and social programs over a bloated military budget.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Unbelievably, our life expectancy is actually declining. Our child care system is dysfunctional, millions of parents unable to find affordable sites for their kids. We have a major housing crisis. Six hundred thousand Americans are homeless. And, oh, yes, the planet is on fire, and the world we are leaving future generations will be increasingly unhealthy. But somehow, we never have enough money to address those crises.”