Senate overwhelmingly approves record $700 billion military budget
20 September 2017
Demonstrating the bipartisan support of Democrats and Republicans for militarism and war, the US Senate voted 89 to nine on Monday to authorize $700 billion in spending for the military and intelligence agencies, an $80 billion increase from 2016 and $26 billion more than President Donald Trump requested earlier this year.
The House of Representatives has already adopted a similar version of the bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House and Senate versions will now be reconciled, and a final version approved by both houses of Congress and presented for Trump to sign into law.
The NDAA is a clear sign that the US is preparing to launch major wars of aggression, potentially involving nuclear weapons. The bill provides $200 million to upgrade nuclear launch facilities, $8.5 billion for missile defense systems in the US and in outer space, and $6.4 billion for Virginia class offensive nuclear submarines.
Trump hailed the bill’s $700 billion price tag in his warmongering speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, citing it as proof that “our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been.”
The bill passed with 42 Democrats and 47 Republicans voting “yes” and six Democrats and three Republicans voting “no.” Supporters included supposed “left” Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California.
The bill’s total of $700 billion per year equals $80 million in military spending per hour and $22,000 per second. The latter figure is considerably greater than the median pre-tax yearly individual income for the bottom half of the US population—just $16,200, according to 2016 data compiled by economists…