Whether its bringing the Troops home or modestly scaling back the military budget, Democrats still see eye to eye with Republicans when it comes to anti-war legislation. A series of amendments in the Senate and House of Representatives introduced by progressive Democrats have been shot down with the help of their own party.
This past Tuesday in the House, a proposal by Rep. Ilhan Omar to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan met its expected end. The bill to help bring to a close the longest war in U.S. history was voted down by a margin of 129 to 284. Over a hundred House Democrats helped defeat the measure.
Unfortunately, many Democrats view this as a vote on Donald Trump who wished to withdraw American Troops. I imagine the idea of Ilhan Omar and Donald Trump agreeing on something doesn’t play well with the establishment of either party. Oddly enough, before Democrats won back the house a couple years back, a similar provision to that of Omar’s passed with near unanimous Democratic support.
In a speech the day before the vote, Omar stated that “there are people saying that we shouldn’t be too hasty in leaving. Too hasty? It’s been two decades.” Omar’s amendment would have removed language inserted by Liz Cheney that imposes conditions on U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On the same day, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sponsored by Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan went up for a vote. The amendment was a proposal to cut U.S. military spending by 10% and invest the savings in the housing, healthcare, and education of poor communities. Seems like a no brainer doesn’t it?
The vote failed 93 to 324, with 139 Democrats joining 185 Republicans in voting no. The no vote ensures that instead of the budget being reduced by 10%, an additional $2 billion will actually be added to the budget.
The futile anti-war amendment vote in the House marked a failure on two fronts by Democrats. First the will of the people, the majority of whom wish to see cuts in the bloated U.S. military budget. A Data for Progress poll showed 56% support for slashing the military budget by 10%.
The second failure is the so-called Democratic resistance to Trump. Since Trump came to power, the Military budget has increased by over $100 billion/year. Even after Dems took back the House of Representatives, the budget increased by $21 billion last year alone.
Slashing the budget by 10% wouldn’t even bring military spending down to pre-Trump levels, but still, Democrats were against it. It’s ridiculous to listen to democrats call Trump a danger to the American way of life, then give him more money that helps enable the danger.
Not to be outdone, a companion to the Lee-Pocan amendment sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) hit the Senate floor not long after. Spoiler alert, it was defeated as well by a margin of 23 to 77, with 24 Democratic senators voting no.
Some experts are saying that Duckworth and Harris’ no votes were an attempt to become presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate. Funny how voting against the will of the people can lead to bigger and better things in Washington.
It can be said that nearly half of Democrats in Congress voted in favor of these Anti-War amendments this week. It is surely an improvement from the bi-partisan Military Industrial Complex the country has been witness to for decades.
The problem is whether it’s Trump or Biden in the White House, nothing on this front will change. Democrats just made that point loud and clear. The United States will still be in Afghanistan and tax dollars will still be used to kill foreigners rather than help save Americans.