February 2014

Keep Your Promise: A Left-Right Coalition to Help Veterans and Cut the Debt

 There is wide political agreement that we need to do more to support our veterans and their families. A recent spectacular demonstration was the 326-90 vote in the House and 95-3 vote in the Senate to repeal the military pension cuts to veterans and active service members that were in the Ryan-Murray budget deal. A key question in the current federal budget environment is how we are going to pay for increased veterans' benefits, given broad Republican resistance to raising revenue or increasing the deficit.

An obvious answer is this: Cut unnecessary Pentagon spending and split the savings between helping veterans and reducing government debt. This should appeal to Democrats and Republicans who want to help veterans and to Democrats and Republicans who are willing to cut unnecessary Pentagon spending to reduce government debt. It should also appeal to organizations representing veterans.

Some people are under the impression that cutting unnecessary Pentagon spending is a non-starter with all Republicans, or almost all of them. But in the recent past, there has been a substantial group of Republicans in the House who were willing to vote to cut the Pentagon budget.

letter to Sonya Michel on her ASA BDS vote misrepresentation claim in the NYT

Sonya Michel

Professor of history, women’s studies and American studies
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.
 
 

Dear Ms. Michel,

Extend Unemployment Assistance by Cutting the War Budget

 Just over a week ago, the Senate fell one vote short of overcoming a Republican filibuster to pass a three-month extension of assistance for the long-term unemployed.

The New York Times reported:

Could We Make @BilldeBlasio Meet with J Street?

 It was, without doubt, a world-historical moment last Thursday when AIPAC concededthat its push to sabotage U.S. diplomacy with Iran had been decisively rebuked. As theNew York Times noted, it had been decades since AIPAC lost such a high-profile showdown so decisively.

With AIPAC Reeling, Let's Push the House to Support Diplomacy

Who knew we’d live to see this glorious day? The New York Times is reporting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s efforts to pass a bill in the Senate to cripple diplomacy with Iran have stalled, and concludes that AIPAC has lost influence in Washington. [1] Hallelujah!

Now we have a great opportunity to take the fight to the House, where more than 70 Representatives are circulating a letter supporting U.S.-Iran diplomacy and opposing new sanctions and other measures that would kill the talks. [2]

Getting Members of Congress to stay off a nefarious bill is important, but it’s even more significant when we can get them to publicly endorse realistic diplomacy to end the U.S.-Iran conflict.

Urge your Representative to sign the diplomacy letter now.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/give-diplomacy-a-chance-letter

Thanks for all you do to help bring about a just foreign policy,

Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

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References:

1. “Potent Pro-Israel Group Finds Its Momentum Blunted,” Mark Landler, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/world/middleeast/potent-pro-israel-gro...
2. "Another big blow to the Iran sanctions bill,” Greg Sargent, Washington Post, February 3, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/02/03/another-big-...