Progressive Dems Press Senate To Shift Spending From Military To Healthcare

Ahead of an expected debate over a pending defense authorization bill, a prominent group of Democratic activists is pressing the Senate to “eliminate unnecessary military spending and redirect those funds to meet the very real need for comprehensive health coverage for all.”

In an email to supporters of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) cites a Democratic National Committee resolution approved earlier this year in support for U.S. withdrawal from combat in Afghanistan, as well as the American Health Security Act of 2011 (S.915), sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which would create a state-by-state single-payer healthcare system.

“With the Defense Authorization act about to move to the Senate and the budget debate soon to follow it, I was happy to my add my name to the letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus,” says Woolsey, who is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Woolsey encourages supporters to sign an online letter to Senate Democrats.

“With two major spending bills facing the Senate—the Defense Authorization Act and the 2012 budget—we encourage Senate Democrats to offer amendments that will cut unnecessary military spending and redirect those funds to providing healthcare for all and preserving and expanding Social Security and Medicare,” the online letter says.

“As peace and justice advocates, we expect our Democratic Senators will follow the lead of the Party that elected them and act in compliance with the will of the majority of U.S. citizens by taking necessary steps to begin a significant drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, beginning in July, as dictated in the DNC Resolution,” the letter adds. “In addition, we ask that Democratic Senators move to contain the spiraling costs of healthcare and address the 47 million Americans currently lacking access to healthcare by co-sponsoring the American Health Security Act of 2011.”

Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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