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We Need Your Help to Open the Defense Budget

POGO Cellphone with message on Open NDAA

We only have a few days left to persuade the Senate Armed Services Committee to support public hearings on the more than $600 billion Pentagon budget. The House of Representatives has provided a model system of debating and voting on how to fund the Pentagon in hearings that are open to the public, but the Senate has lagged behind. Unless a majority of the Senate Armed Services Committee supports public hearings, critical decisions such as war authorizations, base closures and benefits for our troops will continue to be debated behind closed doors.

We urgently need you to call as many of the senators below as you can. We believe they could be the swing votes needed to open the hearings.

Tell them that you support an open “markup” on the defense spending bill. Tell them you want a public debate on how the Pentagon spends your money.

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas: (202) 224-2353

Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii: (202) 224-6361

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia: (202) 224-4024

Sen. Angus King of Maine: (202) 224-5344

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida: (202) 224-5274

Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota: (202) 224-5842

Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska: (202) 224-3004

Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina: (202) 224-6342

If you can't pick up the phone, send an e-mail or take to social media by going to See below for the outpouring from the public, press, and 60 coalition organizations on Twitter.

Time is running out. The Senate Armed Services Committee will meet Wednesday and if we don’t make our voices heard, it will be too late to open the budget hearings for this year.

Please email me at and keep me posted on what you learn from your calls.

By: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz
Director of Public Policy, POGO

Liz Hempowicz Liz Hempowicz is the Director of Public Policy for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Budget, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Authors: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz

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