The Obama Administration has asked Congress for another $83.4 billion in Supplemental funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As it stands now, the House Appropriations Committee has actually increased this amount to $94.2 billion. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents that this war funding bill is not acceptable!
Voting on the Supplemental will be happening as early as this week. It is vitally important that people across the country send a clear and rapid message that this bill continues and extends the failed policies of the past administration.
Today, May 12, join the National Call-In Day and let Congress know that while we support funding for the safe withdrawal of troops, and for diplomacy, economic assistance and humanitarian aid, we oppose more money for war. While making that call, urge them to co-sponsor a bill by Congressman James McGovern that would require President Obama to provide an exit plan for Afghanistan no later than December 2009.
Two weeks ago, Secretaries Clinton and Gates testified before the full Senate Appropriations Committee to explain their strategies and budget needs in preparation for a vote on the Supplemental. Although both senior officials repeatedly said economic assistance and diplomacy are the keys to stability and security, only 8% of the funding in this bill is for non-military activities -- the remainder for military operations. There is no military solution to the problems of Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. The American air strikes inside Afghanistan and Pakistan are stirring up more suffering, fear, and hatred towards the United States, while decreasing the prospects of a negotiated settlement. Congress needs to re-think and re-direct American resources.
Key Talking Points:
* At a time of economic crisis and multiplying domestic needs, the 2009 Supplemental is an appalling waste of our money.Join the National Call-in Day today, Tuesday, May 12! The Congressional switchboard number is 1-800-517-5696. Let them know that you reject another 'blank check' for war!
* The Supplemental funds the increase of troops to Afghanistan, escalating the war rather than ending it.
* The Supplemental places no restrictions on American bombings in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, despite the disproportionate harm to civilians.
* The Supplemental maintains a high level of American troops in Iraq for the duration of FY 2009.
Go to the National Priorities Project for information on the local costs of the war in Afghanistan: www.nationalpriorities.org.
Click here to see the OMB analysis of the War Supplemental funding request (in PDF) and click here for analysis of the Supplemental from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
If you don't see this message in time on May 12, make the call anyway. It will still be important & will make an impact.