House votes to freeze Pentagon spending at last year’s level

July 20, 2012

Last evening the House of Representatives voted to freeze Pentagon spending at last year’s level, approving an amendment to the defense appropriations bill co-sponsored by Rep. Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Rep. Frank (D-Mass.). The vote is significant in that it showed a willingness by Members of Congress to consider cuts to the military, something that has been hotly debated in the deficit reduction discussions. The Mulvaney-Frank amendment cut $1.1 billion from the House proposal.

Unfortunately, several other amendments which would have made even more significant cuts, were voted down. Even with the Mulvaney-Frank trim, the Pentagon budget is still $6 billion over the caps allowed in last year’s Budget Control Act. A vote to bring the funding levels in line with the caps failed 243-171. Another amendment, to cut $19.2 billion, failed 326-87.

To view how your representative voted on these amendments, click here:

Read more about MCC’s work on military spending.


Votes this week to reduce Pentagon spending

July 17, 2012

A U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV). U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Ashleigh S. Teitel (Released)

The House is scheduled to take up the Fiscal Year 2013 defense appropriations bill this week. Contact your House member today to urge him/her to support amendments that will reduce Pentagon spending.

The defense bill provides $519.2 billion for the Pentagon’s “base budget,” an increase of $1.1 billion over last year, as well as $88.5 billion in war funding, primarily for Afghanistan. It is unconscionable that Congress is proposing an increase to the Pentagon’s base budget at a time when poverty programs are facing significant cuts.

Many amendments will be offered to the bill, including several to reduce the overall level of funding. Read more and urge your representative to support these amendments.

Worship resources on domestic violence for Peace Sunday, September 18

September 14, 2011

“May our church be a safe place…”

Worship resources for Peace Sunday, September 18, are online. The resources focus on domestic violence and include a church pledge, “Promoting peace at home,” as well as a bulletin insert.

New MCC U.S. campaign launched

July 28, 2011

Do not fear, for I am with you. –Isaiah 41:10a

“Fear not: Seek peace”, the new MCC U.S. campaign provides educational materials, worship and advocacy resources focused on domestic violence, gun violence and U.S. militarism.

Waiting in exile God’s people were reassured, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” These words still resonate powerfully today. We live in a world of fear—fear of death, fear of personal assault, fear of terrorism and losing what we have.

Some level of fear is healthy. It keeps us from doing unwise things and grows out of concern for our own safety and the protection of those we love. But it must not become an idol and keep us from experiencing the abundant life God desires for us.

The Bible offers us an alternative way of understanding security, promising that God is present with us. Because of this we need not live in fear and can put our trust in God, rather than in human rulers or weapons.

Join us as we explore ways to seek peace in our homes, communities and world.

Essay Contest Regional Winners Discuss Military Spending

March 18, 2011

Regional winners of the MCC Washington Office 2011 Essay Contest are James Helmuth (Great Lakes) and Rebecca Hardy (East Coast).

Helmuth’s essay, “Military Spending,” presents a strong case for our responsibility as people of faith to call for a reduction in U.S. Defense spending.

Not only does the United States have the largest and most expensive military in the world, but the amount we are spending to enact violence and destruction in other nations is still increasing.

Hardy’s essay, “The Unseen Good of Military Spending” presents an argument defending military spending as a way to help people around the world.

The U.S. military possesses the skilled personnel, leadership, transportation assets and willingness to provide disaster relief to those in need.

Click here for more information about this year’s winners.

This is the second of two posts on the 2011 Essay Contest winners.  Read the first post here.

Essay Contest Winner Speaks Up for Voiceless

February 25, 2011

Karina Ortman is the winner of this year’s MCC Washington Office High School Essay Contest.  Her essay, “A Voice for Those Who Are Not Heard,” discusses immigration policy in the United States (read the entire essay below).

Ortman’s essay deals with drivers of immigration and unjust U.S. policies that make our country unwelcoming to those we are called to help.

Many immigrants, legal and illegal, come to the United States to receive a better education or to find work in order to support their families.  However, immigration has become a problem in the United States, and US policies are contributing to the problems of the immigration system …  It is our responsibility as Christians to call for change and speak out for those who have suffered.

Click here for more information about this year’s winners.

This is the first of two posts on the 2011 Essay Contest winners.

Read the rest of this entry »

UK passes landmark law on vulture funds

April 13, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllLast week a landmark bill to protect the world’s poorest countries from profiteering by vulture funds became law in the UK. The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill is the world’s first law to restrict the ability of Vulture Funds to sue some of the world’s poorest countries for full repayment of debts that they have bought up cheaply.

In the United States, Jubilee USA Network, of which MCC is a member, continues its campaign to stop Vulture Funds from preying on impoverished countries.

The Stop VULTURE Funds Act (HR 2932) is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent vulture funds from making excessive profit off the debt of the world’s poorest nations. The bill was re-introduced by Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Click here to send an email in support of the bill.


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