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  • U.S. Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley smile during a House Oversight and Reform Committee meeting in Washington, U.S.

    U.S. Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley smile during a House Oversight and Reform Committee meeting in Washington, U.S. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 April 2019

"We need to prioritize our communities, not our military spending. Progressives aren’t backing down from this fight," Jayapal tweeted.

Members of the United States Congressional Progressive Caucus are threatening to tank a key budget measure unless the Democratic leadership agrees to boost healthcare, education, and other social services alongside the Pentagon's budget increase Tuesday.

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Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan are leading the incentive for an amendment that would add about US$33 billion per year to domestic social programs as part of an important two-year spending bill would bring annual Pentagon spending up to US$733 billion.

"We need to prioritize our communities, not our military spending. Progressives aren’t backing down from this fight," Jayapal tweeted.

Over the weekend, staff director for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Warren Gunnels, said the Democrats' proposal to hike Pentagon spending was "insanity" in a series of tweets.

"How can we keep giving more money to the Pentagon than it needs when 40 million live in poverty, 34 million have no health insurance, half of older Americans have no retirement savings, and 140 million can't afford basic needs without going into debt?" Gunnels tweeted.

The vote could take place Tuesday, though the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote by Wednesday. Freshmen Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib, are sponsoring the amendment.


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