By Andrea Sears, Public News Service – NY, June 27, 2017
NEW YORK – An annual gathering of mayors from around the country is calling on Congress to reverse course by moving funding out of the military budget and into human and environmental needs.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday unanimously passed three resolutions opposing deep cuts in social and environmental programs to increase funding for the military.
David Swanson, director of World Beyond War, notes President Donald Trump has proposed increasing military spending by $54 billion.
“These resolutions say, “No,’” he states. “’Take money out of the military budget – and, in particular, take money out of nuclear weapons – and put that money into increasing the budgets of things that actually serve humanity and the environment.”
The mayors of Ithaca, N.Y., and New Haven, Conn. introduced two of the resolutions, numbered 59 and 60. Both call for a reversal of priorities in the federal budget and, Swanson adds, resolution 60 issues a nationwide call for action.
“The mayors of all the cities need to hold public hearings, make public the trade offs involved here, send notification to their members of Congress and request responses back,” he stresses.
The mayors of 19 cities sponsored the third resolution, number 79.
According to Swanson, it calls on Congress to cut off funding for new nuclear weapons and to join other nations in drafting a United Nations treaty to ban all nuclear weapons.
“Nothing could be more important while the United States and Russia are in a more hostile relationship than they’ve been in decades,” he states.
The Trump administration budget proposes an 11 percent increase in spending on nuclear weapons, while slashing federal programs for diplomacy and foreign aid.