If you care about economic justice, if you care about peace, pay attention to the names in the list below. Look for the name of your U.S. Representative in Congress.
Gary Ackerman, Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Joe Baca, John Barrow, Shelley Berkley, Howard Berman, Sanford Bishop, Tim Bishop, Dan Boren, Leon Boswell, Bob Brady, Corrine Brown, Russ Carnahan, John Carney, Ben Chandler, Judy Chu, Gerald Connolly, Jim Cooper, Jim Costa, Joe Courtney, Mark Critz, Henry Cuellar, Elijah Cummings, Susan Davis, Norm Dicks, John Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Joe Donnelly, Eliot Engel, Charles Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Colleen Hanabusa, Martin Heinrich, Brian Higgins, Ruben Hinojosa, Mazie Hirono, Kathy Hochul, Tim Holden, Steny Hoyer, Steve Israel, Sheila Jackson Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Jim Jordan, Marcy Kaptur, Dale Kildee, Larry Kissell, James Langevin, John Larson, Sander Levin, Dan Lipinski, David Loebsack, Jim Matheson, Carolyn McCarthy, Carolyn McCarthy, Mike McIntyre, Jim McNerney, Gregory Meeks, Bill Owens, Ed Pastor, Ed Perlmutter, Collin Peterson, Silvestre Reyes, Laura Richardson, Mike Ross, Dutch Ruppersberger, Adam Schiff, David Scott, Terri Sewell, Brad Sherman, Heath Shuler, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Betty Sutton, Ed Towns, Nikki Tsongas, Peter Visclosky, and Tim Walz
These are the names of the 77 Democrats in the House of Representatives who voted on Friday in favor of passing H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
You may remember how, last year, Republicans in Congress pushed Democrats into what was called a “compromise”. The deal was that a Special Committee from the House and Senate would be authorized to come up with a plan for reducing the budget deficit, through increases in revenue or through reductions in spending. That committee had a deadline to come up with a plan, and if they didn’t meet that deadline, then there would be automatic spending reductions in programs like Medicare and the military.
There would be no new taxes if the deadline wasn’t met, though, so the Republicans on that Special Committee just sat there, with no intention to come up with any plan, happy to let the spending reductions go into place. This year, there were supposed to be automatic reductions in money for Medicare and for the military alike.
The cuts in Medicare are coming through, but with the version of the National Defense Authorization Act just passed by the House of Representatives, the cuts in military spending do not take place. A vote for this legislation, essentially, is a vote to allow cuts in Medicare without any counter-balancing cuts in military spending or tax increases. It’s a vote to put all the economic burden onto working Americans, while allowing the wealthy to keep their special tax loopholes.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 as passed by the House of Friday preserves spending on extravagant weapons program that the Pentagon says it doesn’t want. It keeps open redundant military bases that are not strategically necessary.
The money to pay for this wasteful military spending is being taken from older Americans, by reducing their health care benefits.
Who would vote for such a thing? Well, almost every Republican in the House of Representatives voted in favor of this unjust redistribution of wealth. It’s not just a Republican problem, though. The 77 Democrats listed above voted to approve this unjust arrangement as well.
These Democratic politicians don’t deserve to be re-elected. If you are represented by one of the Democrats listed above, give your representative a call through the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected to your representative’s office, and leave a simple message with the aide who picks up the phone: I’m a liberal, and I won’t be voting for you in November, and it’s because you voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.