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Conservatives, Progressives Unite on Call for Congress to Find Savings at the Pentagon

The Project On Government Oversight and several leading advocacy groups from across the political spectrum–conservative taxpayer and Tea Party groups, centrist government watchdogs, and progressive mobilizing and anti-war organizations–released a joint letter today telling President Obama and Congress that whether automatic spending cuts take effect this week or not, there is still an urgent need to reduce the Pentagon’s bloated budget.

“Our organizations believe that sequester might not be the best way to reshape Pentagon spending, but that should not serve as an excuse to avoid fundamental reforms,” said the letter signed by 22 organizations. The organizations range from conservative groups Americans for Tax Reform (founded by Grover Norquist) and National Taxpayers Union to progressive groups CREDO and Campaign for America’s Future.

The letter says reducing wasteful and ineffective Pentagon spending could save as much as $100 billion per year over the next 10 years. There are plenty of ideas for sensible spending cuts, just a lack of political will. The letter cites billions of dollars in potential cuts recommended by organizations and members of Congress with diverse interests and ideologies. The recommendations include some made by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). (The members of Congress were not signers of the letter released today.)

“To be clear, we do not agree among ourselves on every recommendation listed here. However, we are united in the belief  that there are plenty of ways to strategically target pork-barrel projects and programs designed to fight the Cold War instead of 21st century threats,” the letter said.

The letter highlights numerous areas for possible savings that have been the focus of past POGO investigations including the V-22 Osprey, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship, contracting at the Defense Department, and excessive General and Flag Officers.

A Washington Post article summerized the proposals as "stopping the purchase of outdated or unnecessary vehicles, ships and and aircraft, cutting the civilian workforce and/or service members, and downsizing military headquarters."

You can read the full letter here.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Advocacy, Budget, Defense, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Andre Francisco

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