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Takoma Park Urges Congress to Cut War Spending

The city hopes the money saved from cutting defense funding would go to helping local jurisdictions.

In typical Takoma Park style, the city dove into national politics on local level.

The Takoma Park City Council passed two resolutions pushing the U.S. Congress to cut military spending and address the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"Revolutionary change starts at the bottom, not at the top," Councilman Fred Schultz at the council meeting. "That’s how all the big changes have come about. So, we shouldn’t be waiting on our senators or congressmen or president to do these things."

The city hopes the money saved from cutting defense funding would go to helping local jurisdictions.

"The city council urges the United States Congress to make major reductions in the Pentagon budget in a manner that does not harm the safety of our troops, with the savings invested in state and local needs so that the City of Takoma Park and other local jurisdictions can repair their deteriorating infrastructure, reverse budget cuts to education, health care, and other needs, and otherwise improve the welfare of their residents," The resolution to cut federal war spending reads.

United States military spending is higher than it has been since World War II, in inflation-adjusted dollars, and the Pentagon budget has more than doubled, in constant dollars, since 1998, according to Peace Action Montgomery. 

“The vast majority of the people of the U.S. are struggling to make ends meet. Money spent on wars, unnecessary weapons systems, and foreign military bases should instead be invested in our communities,” Takoma Park resident and Peace Action Montgomery activist Fran Pollner said.

The second resolution addressed the NDAA and its detention process.

"It is the sense of the City Council that the National Defense Authorization Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force do not now, and should never, authorize the Armed Forces of the United States to investigate, arrest, detain, or try any person within the United States, or to militarily detain without charge or trial civilians not captured on any battlefield, and that Authorization for Use of Military Force expires upon the end of combat operations in Afghanistan by the Armed Forces of the United States," the resolution reads.

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