Millions Lack Basic Necessities, but the Senate Just Passed a $716 Billion Bill for Endless War and Empire

In a vote that further “entrenches endless war and bloated Pentagon spending” and places greater nuclear capacity in the hands of President Donald Trump, 38 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) joined nearly every Senate Republican on Monday to pass a $716 billion defense bill that boosts military spending by over $80 billion and authorizes another $21.6 billion for nuclear weapons programs.

Had the Pentagon’s budget simply remained the same as it was in 2017, Congress “could have funded public college for every student in the U.S. and had $12 billion left over,” noted media analyst Adam Johnson.

But Democrats and Republicans decided to join hands once more late Monday—in an overwhelming 85-10 vote—to affirm that militarism and massive handouts to defense contractors top education, healthcare, and anti-hunger programs on the list of congressional priorities.

Slamming the bipartisan vote to pass the military measure—officially titled the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515)—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote: “We cannot spend more on our military than the next 10 nations combined while millions of Americans do not have food and housing and healthcare…That is why I voted against spending $716 billion on the military today.”

Joining Sanders in voting against the military spending bill on Monday were Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Meanwhile, these 38 Senate Democrats and King joined a nearly united GOP caucus in approving the measure:

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Tom Carper (D-Del.)
Bob Casey (D-Penn.)
Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)