Policy Letter

Groups Thank Reps. for Leadership in Reining in Runaway Pentagon Spending

Thank You for Your Leadership in

Turning the Tide on Runaway Pentagon Spending

Dear Representatives Mick Mulvaney and Barney Frank:

Our organizations write with sincere gratitude for your leadership in offering the amendment to freeze profligate Pentagon spending at Fiscal Year 2012 levels—a $1.1 billion reduction in what was originally proposed in the Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013. The bipartisan passage of this amendment with 247 votes sends a strong signal that Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s time to rein in the runaway Pentagon budget.

While this vote was a pivotal political turning point, as you well know, the budgetary effect will be modest. Your amendment will keep base military spending at the FY 2012 level of $518 billion, which is still higher than the Pentagon’s requested amount and much higher than the discretionary spending caps in the Budget Control Act (BCA). Last week the Congressional Budget Office released findings that even if the sequestration mandated in the BCA is enacted, the Department of Defense base budget in FY 2013 “would still be larger than it was in 2006 (in 2013 dollars) and larger than the average base budget during the 1980s.”[1]

We know you agree that more fiscal restraint is possible.

It is important to note that the American public supports even deeper cuts. According to a recent Stimson Center poll, American citizens favor an 18 percent cut, or a $103.5 billion reduction. What’s more, the Stimson Center found that even when defense spending benefits their districts, voters were still willing to cut such spending.[2]

Indeed, our organizations with diverse ideologies and interests appreciate your strong bipartisan leadership, and support you taking further action to ensure better fiscal stewardship at the Pentagon. Thank you for recognizing that in today’s constrained economic climate, we cannot afford to throw taxpayer dollars away on unneeded or outmoded approaches to national security.

We welcome the opportunity to work again with you and your staffs to further this common purpose.


Campaign for America’s Future

Center for International Policy

Center for Media and Democracy


Council for a Livable World

CREDO Action

Foreign Policy in Focus

Global Exchange

Just Foreign Policy

Ladies of Liberty Alliance

Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office

New Jersey Peace Action

Peace Action

Peace Action West

Project On Government Oversight

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Taxpayers for Protection Alliance

Tea Party WDC

The Center for Fiscal Equity

Tri-Valley CAREs


Win Without War

Women’s Action for New Directions

[ 1] http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43428

[ 2] http://www.stimson.org/books-reports/consulting-the-american-people-on-national-defense-spending/