37 Senate Dems Join GOP to Approve $740 Billion War Budget

Progressives reacted with disgust at the misplaced priorities made evident by the Senate’s approval of the Pentagon budget and the GOP’s proposal on Covid-19 relief.

Protesters march against U.S. military intervention and spending. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr/cc)

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

Hours after the Republican Party released a coronavirus relief proposal including $0 for election assistance funding and no additional funding for cities and states as the country continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, allocating $740.5 billion to the Pentagon.  

The annual military budget bill was passed with a vote of 86-14, with 37 Democrats joining the Republicans in supporting the proposal. View the full roll call here. 

Progressives including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),and Ed Markey (D-MA) voted against the bill.

The bill was passed a day after an amendment proposed by Sanders and Markey to cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10 percent and redirect that funding toward significant investments in education, healthcare, and housing in poor communities — was rejected in the Senate, with a majority of Democrats siding with the GOP.

Democrats in the House also overwhelmingly joined Republicans to block a similar amendment put forward by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI).

The Senate bill includes $636.4 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget, $25.9 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy, and $69 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations account.

President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the bill — on the grounds that it includes an amendment, introduced by Warren, to rename military bases which memorialize Confederate figures — but the budget was passed with more than two-thirds of the Senate’s support, a veto-proof majority.

The House and Senate are now expected to reconcile their two versions of the NDAA; the House bill includes a 3 percent pay raise for troops and $3.6 billion to combat China.

Earlier on Thursday, the GOP released its proposal for the next coronavirus relief bill, stipulating that the party would not approve the continuation of the full $600 boost in unemployment insurance, included in the CARES Act in March, which helped keep millions of Americans out of poverty in the first months of the pandemic. 

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who joined other progressives in the House in voting against the NDAA, reacted with disgust at the misplaced priorities made evident by the Pentagon budget’s Senate approval and the GOP’s proposal on Covid-19 relief.

Paul Kawika Martin, senior director and policy and political affairs at Peace Action, called on Democrats who continuously support hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending to “take note that voters want government spending to put ‘people over Pentagon.'”

“We should prioritize eradicating poverty, not war,” wrote Markey on Wednesday, after the amendment he introduced failed in the Senate. “We should prioritize battling global-killer diseases, not developing new weapons designed to eradicate the human race. It is time we fund education, not annihilation. Medicaid, not missiles.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from Common Dreams.

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40 comments for “37 Senate Dems Join GOP to Approve $740 Billion War Budget

  1. Max Hammerlein
    July 26, 2020 at 16:08


  2. Max Hammerlein
    July 26, 2020 at 11:23

    C&P sometimes is hell.


  3. Lin
    July 26, 2020 at 09:01

    Wouldn’t you think that the Congressional Dems would support the People now, as we try to unite against republican thugs and #45? When the People need the help that 10% of the defense budget could supply, and we would all benefit, where are the Dems who SAY they are with us? Maryland Senators—Cardin and VanHollen, I am ashamed of you.

    • robert e williamson jr
      July 27, 2020 at 14:31

      No I wouldn’t Lin. At my age 70+ I’ve seen more that enough evidence to convince me the dimocraps are repugnican enablers, nothing more. Believe me they get paid very well for this assistance to the party of NO!

      Here is some free advice based on some common sense.

      1. Trump must be removed from office – if he agrees to leave – when and IF the dimocraps win.

      2. If he is beaten in the election and it takes the 101rst Airborne to get him out of the Whit House , so be

      3. With uncle Joe in the White House, immediately it will be time for all us alternative thinkers to place the entire democrapic party under siege with an avalanche of letters, tweet, phone calls to them demanding they move left or suffer the consequences of having little or no public support. This needs to be a constant barage, we don’t want sleepy Koe crying that no one told him to move to the Left. Never mind that they have the republicans on the ropes, so to speak, the democraps never go after the kill and it is their fatal flaw or their admission that they enable the repugs.

      4. Never ever under any circumstances expect any voluntary change from the dimocraps they obviously love to carry repugnicans drinking water. Which means they have more in common with the current fake president and HIS party that has been encouraging his despicable behavior, than they care to admit.

      5. Don’t take any wooden nickels .

  4. TimN
    July 25, 2020 at 19:49

    The Chinese aren’t our enemies. Or the Russians. Or the Venezuelans. Or the Iranians.

    • Max Hammerlein
      July 26, 2020 at 10:52

      Right. The upper 1% US Oligarchs and their pocketed politicians are.

  5. DH Fabian
    July 25, 2020 at 19:24

    Twenty-five years into the Democrats’ war on the poor, which had completely split apart those who aren’t on the right wing… ah, never mind.

  6. Anonymot
    July 25, 2020 at 16:30

    Everyone tends to think of the old Democrat party; they were the anti-war ones. Since Truman introduced a group of pre-and post WW II OSS men as the new advisors to the Presidents on foreign affairs intelligence, the Democrats have consistently initiated wars – wildly so since Obama/Hillary. Their agency was called the CIA.

    • robert e williamson jr
      July 27, 2020 at 00:17

      Are you serious? Nope, DH Fabian and Anonymot, I ain’t buying it.

      I’m for fair play here and LBJ’s (dimocrap) john-henry was on my draft notice and those of thousands of other vets, who would no doubt , take great umbrage to your opening statement. after all one cannot be drafted by a dimocrapic president and think he is against death and war.

      Let’s have a little looky see here kiddies.

      As we go down the list we find that nobody but nobody fits this category better than, Nixon, ( repug) whose adviser Hank “the Shank” Kissinger made sure of additional American deaths in Vietnam as America ate it’s young and killed the Vietnamese with wild abandon by the hundreds of thousands and poisoned their country.

      Ronnie Raygun (repug) was a most vicious fellow himself, mostly to poor and mentally ill Americans and our brothers down in south, Mexico, Central and South America and Iran. In his defense he was not of sound mind. History will show the neo-cons and the intelligence establishment, George H. W. Bush included, had there way with him and they, for sure, were not all democrats.

      41 (repug) proved his blood lust clearly enough and more than once besides spending most of his early career covering for and enabling the “Democrats CIA” to hear you tell it. Hog spit my friend. The Repugs are said to have sent a DOJ official to Mena Ark. to whisper the words of presidential lust into Bill Clinton’s ear.

      Clinton(dimocrap) who had tainted involvement with CIA and yes he claimed to be a democrat. was the next criminal.

      Next is “shrub”, (repug) who comes along just in time for the national security state to put some finishing touches on their “long con”. Lying to the US public on prime time TV with the assistance of, according to you the “Democrats CIA” and taking us, with the enthusiastic help of BOTH parties, the United Parties of the NATIONAL SECURITY STATE, to a war based on lies. And boy Bubba can the village idiot from Crawford Texas sell snake oil.

      A long-con that it appears might be about to blow up in their faces, or blow back.

      The republicans played spitball with Obama, between them and the NSA push for mass surveillance his second term secured his position as someone the World Court might want to look at for committing war crimes. He wanted the job and got it and the business.

      And then let us see here who was next? Why none other than the orange mango mussolini himself Donny J Trump.

      Please note that at Jefferson Morley’s site Welcome to the Deep State Blog he has a story, “The Pro-Trump CIA Man: QAnon, Madness and Upward Failure.

      The story line is Micheal Scheuer retired CIA career Operations Officer , who is a self radicalized and professes loyalty to and a believer in QAnon. Described as a mess and likely off his rocker. His wife Alfreda Frances Bikowsky has been fingered by an FBI agent as the person responsible for ensuring that FBI interest in Khalid Al-Mahdhar and Nawaf al-Hazami was quashed. These two were hijackers on the airliner that hit the Pentagon on 911.

      But don’t take my word for this go visit teh site and make sure you hit those hot links.

      Now remember , when you elect a clown expect a circus, something I saw early today someplace but entirely apropos.

      Thanks to CN

  7. MrLiberty
    July 25, 2020 at 14:28

    At least in the old days the dems used to pretend to be against war when a republican was in office. Now the suitcases full of money show up and the votes get cast without even batting an eye.

  8. Nylene13
    July 25, 2020 at 12:36

    This proves there is no real difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties.
    They are One Party, United.

  9. July 25, 2020 at 10:49

    Those 37 Democrats voting for the Bill are probably on the payroll of 1 or more Defense contractors!

  10. July 25, 2020 at 10:43

    And yet, they debate/delay a $1200.00 check to those who really need it! I think we all should just stop paying our taxes especially since we have no say about how those dollars are spent.

  11. Raymond Comeau
    July 25, 2020 at 10:07

    When did the USA ever need, ” any insurgent group to drag us into a quagmire”.
    The USA creates the effort to start the wars.

  12. VallejoD
    July 25, 2020 at 09:58

    It’s about time we acknowledged an unassailable fact: America is being run by psychopaths.

    • robert e williamson jr
      July 26, 2020 at 18:02

      Boy how right your are VallejoD.

      Speaking of psychopaths. I’d recommend anyone who thinks that America is not being ran by psychopaths take a trip in cyber space to Jefferson Morley’s Welcome to the State Blog and see this story: The Pro-Trump CIA Man : QAnon Madness and Upward Failure.

      A tail of the hate and treachery as pursued by Micheal Scheuer and his wife Alfredia Frances Bitowsky.

      According to John Sipher’s, formerly of CIA, tweet. ” He’s a mess. Retired sixteen years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t in the middle of the Q non-sense. According to press reports his wife should have been fired for cause years ago.”

      Alfreda Frances Bikowsky it seems is “the ” CIA person who stifled the FBI attempts to report info on
      Khalid al-Mahdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Info of their arrival in Southern California and their pilot training. These two were on board the aircraft the hit the Pentagon on 911.

      This is another clear case of the CIA obstructing the FBI and this story tends to lead one to believe that 911 was indeed an inside job of sorts. In fact I will take the leap an claim we apparently have traitors inside the CIA. But please don’t take my word go read the article.

      You cannot make this stuff up!

  13. AnneR
    July 25, 2020 at 09:32

    I agree with Aaron, Skip, Drew, Rob, Rosemerry, Anonymous, Jeff and Joe – Wholeheartedly.

    How on earth can the Blue Faces pretend that they are any different, any different to the Red Faces when the majority sign up for these yearly obscene fundings of the Pentagonal and affiliated agencies while at the same time saying “we can’t afford” Medicare for all, decent and decently maintained social housing, excellent education – all levels – across the board for all children, and young people??? Absolute bullshit. But these programs won’t fill the troughs….

    And guess which socio-economic classes will be footing the bill for all of this? Won’t be that top 10%.

  14. michael888
    July 25, 2020 at 07:39

    Just shows the disconnect between what the Democrats say and what they do. Only those sure of re-election, also the case for the three Republicans who voted “their consciences”, will go against America’s wars on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia. With Biden soon at the helm, the Democrats have to coalesce about the Forever Wars, expect more in Venezuela, Iran, Ukraine and Central Africa. Trump dropped the Forever Wars ball, and the MICIMATT wants him gone.

  15. Peter
    July 25, 2020 at 07:17

    During the late phase of the Roman empire there was nothing left but the militarny holding it all together. Even this was becoming progressively worse at fulfilling its role. America has decided to go down a similar rode. Whats fascinating is that for centuries Rome was at war with the Persians. This continued i to the Byzantine empire. America, ourversion of Rome, also has an o session with the Persians.

  16. Mike Lucey
    July 25, 2020 at 07:00

    Nothing will change until the electorate achieve simple Direct Democracy. Big Bucks easily govern the weak and insincere public reps. With Direct Democracy these ‘bought and paid for’ public reps could be given the sack. However, with Direct Democracy very few of the public reps would sway from the agenda on which they were elected.

    Direct Democracy is the only thing that frightens the hell out of the power elite for obvious reasons, it simply takes their power away and returns it to ‘The People’.

    • MrLiberty
      July 26, 2020 at 12:29

      The ONLY form of direct democracy that would be MORAL, is one in which you vote with your dollars and your voluntary efforts. Any form that allows everyone to vote on the use of the violence and power that continues to exist in the hands of the government (at all levels), would be nothing short of three wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Direct democratic voting is fine in small voluntary groups, but the only thing that will truly solve our nation’s problems is the complete and total dissolution of the federal government and massive reductions in power at the state and local levels (including further dissolution of the states into much smaller entities. The problem is ALWAYS with concentrated power, and that doesn’t go away simply because you put everything up to a vote of everyone. In fact, the problems generally become far worse. In places that direct democracy functions (like Switzerland), the votes are among very small, homogeneous populations of people regarding completely LOCAL issues. Such insanity can NEVER be moral at the national level.

  17. Joe Tedesky
    July 24, 2020 at 20:22

    And yet our enemies are defeating our weaponry with cheaper weapons. China’s Dong Feng Missile cost a million to take out a 13 billion dollar aircraft carrier (Cost of carrier without upgrades). Yemen with drones which cost in the thousands defeats Saudi Arabia armed with Patriot missiles. Like Vietnam any insurgent group who will drag us into a quagmire prove it isn’t always about money. We don’t need more sophisticated weapons as much as we need to stay out of wars…but that would defeat the profiteering and that’s where it’s at for the MIC nation.

    • michael888
      July 25, 2020 at 09:39

      Not so long ago I was living in Singapore and was approached by many quizzical Singaporeans on how the US Navy’s modern ships were losing in collisions off Japan and Singapore with garbage scows and barges, some stationary. Wonder where all the money REALLY goes?

    • Steve Naidamast
      July 25, 2020 at 11:55

      Very well said… Our weapons procurement programs and its suppliers are a complete joke. Nothing regarding the current trends in such development has demonstrated that the US can produce reasonably cost weapon systems with high quality. The last great weapon systems made in the US were the F14, F-15, F-16, and the A-10.

      The F-18 and the Abrams tank were the first to show demonstrable loss in quality. The F-18 went into service when it couldn’t even meet its minimal flight and combat requirements. The Abrams was (and probably still is) a fuel guzzler and could not handle desert conditions easily without its engines breaking down.

      Things have gotten substantially worse from there to now where none of our weapon systems are worth the materials they are made out of…

    • vinnieoh
      July 26, 2020 at 12:21

      I’d go even further than these three comments. When we observe the depth and breadth of corruption in the US government and then ponder that the whole military apparatus is their brainchild, then what will transpire if our military has to actually sustain a large war? I have no crystal ball, but what I suspect, that because of the corruption the whole system would collapse right before our eyes. And where are the millions of patriotic US citizen soldiers that would be needed to sustain a war of even modest magnitude?

      I am just GUESSING here, but I believe, if pressed, we’d quickly find out the US military is a chimera and a mirage, and would collapse in upon itself. Broken supply chains, paper-only support mechanisms, stolen funds, and faulty material. This is the harvest of abject corruption. I was going to start writing about this about a year ago, but other events come to the fore.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    July 24, 2020 at 16:06

    I’ve said this before, we are becoming the modern Sparta. And you can review what happened to them.

    • Francis Lee
      July 25, 2020 at 06:01

      I’d say we were more like Athens embarking on the ill-fated Sicilian expedition flush with hubris which meant the end of the Athenian empire.

    • VallejoD
      July 25, 2020 at 10:02

      Spartans in tutus. The US military couldn’t fight its way out of a harem. It’s like a musclebound thug wildly throwing punches, accomplishing nothing more than irrational destruction.

  19. Anonymous
    July 24, 2020 at 15:59

    I guess this is just another sign that ultimately our country is nothing but a war machine and we exist for no reason other than to keep it going, no matter what we tell ourselves.

  20. rosemerry
    July 24, 2020 at 15:57

    I would be interested to know what terrible enemies the USA faces that somehow will be defeated and the “national security” of the USA will be ensured as it careens into oblivion as a failed state. All the massive spending on violence against others, unable to be stopped even for long enough to join the global effort to resist a pandemic destroying the vast majority of “economies” (the USA has no qualms about killing people),joins the spending on banks to help the already rich hide away their ill-gotten gains while nearly all the population in the alleged democratic advanced nation pretending to lead the world are completely discarded while their “representatives” allow this chaos to go on.

    • Rob Roy
      July 25, 2020 at 02:23


      Well said!

  21. Sylvia Haven
    July 24, 2020 at 15:44

    Many thanks for linking to the roll call for this vote. Now I can chastise both my senators from Washington state.

    • John Drake
      July 27, 2020 at 11:18

      Those two are a good case for term limits. They initially overturned two fairly hideous Republicans but have been in office so long they have become “Senatized”. Murray doesn’t even answer letters with specifics; just thank you for you imput.

      Of course Washington has a very large military presence: McChord joint base, Spokane Air Force base, Whidbey Naval Air, Bremerton shipyard, Bangor sub base, Everett naval base, and the ordnance storage near Port Townsend. But still enough is enough, considering how wasteful they are and the Pentagon’s preference for dysfunctional hardware over personnel. And then there is Boeing but the plants in Washington mostly do commercial. Plenty of room for a haircut.

  22. Drew Hunkins
    July 24, 2020 at 14:57

    Not surprising.

    Just a few days ago Omar put forth a bill to pull all US soldiers out of Afghanistan pronto. Over 100 Dems in the House voted against her measure! Can you believe that? Most of the Dems who gave her a thumbs down and believe that two decades of a US occupation is just fine and dandy were those new CIA-military connected Dems Mike Whitney so eloquently described in a sensational piece this week on another website.

    Scum Dems.

    When you have Dems like this, who needs the Republicans?

    [It’s noteworthy that Omar is facing off against massive Zionist money in her upcoming re-election campaign.]

    • VallejoD
      July 25, 2020 at 10:06

      From California: Evil crone Feinstein voted for this abomination. Kamala Harris did not. A small ray of hope?

  23. Skip Scott
    July 24, 2020 at 14:56

    Time for a 3rd party. Actually it’d only be a 2nd party, since the only difference between D’s and R’s is you get to have a non-gender specific restroom in your Starbucks to go with your Forever War if you vote for the D’s. Think I’ll go puke.

    (I wonder if the D’s were wearing their Kente cloths when they voted for a budget to murder more black and brown people.)

    • Max Hammerlein
      July 26, 2020 at 11:14

      There is an 3rd Party.

      All you’d have to do is help get the name out and make them popular, contribute (so they can work with a noticeable budget to oppose those two fuck up parties) and vote for them on election day.

      “Green Party of the United States”



      see: greenpagesnews.org/

    • Skip Scott
      July 27, 2020 at 13:41


      I vote Green Party in every General election. If there is an anti-war candidate in the primaries, I will register with that party to vote in their primary. They never make it to the general election. I also contribute to the Green Party. What I meant by my comment is that it is time for a 3rd party to become a major force in US politics. As much as I like the Greens and their platform, it may be that it will take a strong Independent to break into the mainstream. Ending the Forever War is my top priority.

  24. Aaron
    July 24, 2020 at 14:19

    Even more disgusting when one considers the basic strategic fact that America is surrounded by friendly neighbors to the north and south and enormous oceans to the east and west.

    • Josep
      July 25, 2020 at 05:50

      This. Let it serve as a reminder for the next time sanctimonious American neocons act high and mighty towards Europe. I’m pretty sure there was a legitimate reason Germany and France opposed Bush’s war in Iraq back in 2003.

Comments are closed.