Rep. Tlaib’s Statement on Voting Against Largest Military Budget in History
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement regarding her vote about H.R. 2740 today:
“I take my responsibility to serve the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District very seriously. With every vote I take, I ask myself if our district needs are being met, and if our shared goals of prosperity and justice for all are being advanced. We live in the third poorest congressional district in the country, and there is so much work to be done to ensure everyone in our communities lives with dignity and comfort.
“I decided to vote against H.R. 2740 today – the biggest military budget in history – because spending $733 billion on fighter jets and nuclear weapons brings not only brings our communities no closer to the economic opportunity we all deserve, it actually makes our nation less safe to do so. H.R. 2740 appropriates $690 billion for the Department of Defense, and an additional $43 billion for nuclear weapons programs, for a total of $733 billion spent on our military-industrial complex. These are huge checks being written to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, when we should be cutting checks to everyday people struggling to make ends meet.
“I know there are many essential programs included in H.R. 2740, and I want to be clear that I am not voting against those programs today. Rather, I’m voting against them being underfunded, robbed blind by an out-of-control warfare budget. H.R. 2740 dedicates only $190 billion to education, healthcare, and workforce development programs – money that our district desperately needs more of. For instance, it would cost $71 million to fix the lead-tainted plumbing in the Detroit Public Schools Community District – or about half of the $140 million this budget allocates for just 8 military helicopters.
“I cannot vote for an appropriations bill that serves defense companies so well while leaving too many of our neighbors in the 13th District behind. The Department of Defense doesn’t need a raise, our residents do.”