House progressives may be within striking distance of killing an increase in military spending, in defiance of Democratic leadership, a congressional source tells TYT.
The House Budget Committee is voting Wednesday on a budget bill backed by Democratic leadership and sponsored by Budget Chair Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY).
Yarmuth said, “The Investing for the People Act lays out a responsible framework for the country that ensures we make the needed investments for American families, our economy and our security.”
In a statement Tuesday night, however, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said he will vote against the bill. He told TYT, “It is inconsistent to say you are against endless wars and then fund massive defense increases to support troops being in combat in 17 places around the world.”
The Democratic bill would raise Pentagon spending to $733 billion for 2020 and $749 billion the following year. The increases would be achieved by raising statutory caps on spending and providing additional military funding exempt from the caps.
Without an increase in spending caps, statutory limits will kick in and reduce spending on both military and non-military expenses.
Other progressives on the Budget Committee expected to vote against the bill include Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the source told TYT. With Republicans poised to oppose the bill, progressives might need only one or two more votes to block the military spending hike.
As of Wednesday morning, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) were said to be on the fence, according to the source. Their offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Other Democrats on the committee who also belong to the House Progressive Caucus include Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), and Steven Horsford (D-NV).
The congressional source told TYT that Democratic leadership was “working hard to get Dems to fall in line and support the House budget.”
The budget fight has created unusual political schisms in both parties. Congressional Republicans reportedly are pushing more vocally to raise the spending caps. So is Democratic leadership, which wants to head off cuts to social services.
When it comes to caps on military spending, however, progressive Democrats now find themselves on the same side as the Trump White House, where acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has a long record as a deficit hawk.
Pres. Trump has said he wants to increase military spending, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Unlike House Democratic leadership, however, Trump wants to reduce the spending caps for both military and non-military spending--while increasing overall military spending by providing additional funds exempt from the spending caps.
Jonathan Larsen is TYT’s managing editor. You can find him on Twitter @JTLarsen.
If you have tips on this subject or others you can contact us using Proton Mail at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to stay on top of exclusive news stories from The Young Turks.