REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: There’s a point brought up that this could potentially threaten our readiness and I would counter that it is not the readiness that cutting the defense budget threatens, it is the profit margins of defense contractors.
I would counter that it is not the readiness that cutting our defense budget threatens, but profit margins of defense contractors. In fact, every major defense contractor in the U.S. has had to pay fines or settlements for fraud or misconduct, all while getting $1 trillion in public funding in defense contracts.
I have seen this personally on my work on the Oversight Committee, where we have encountered contractor after contractor gouging the public and draining our resources.
The $77 billion is not that hard to find. The Pentagon could save almost $58 billion by eliminating obsolete weapons, like Cold-War-era bombers and missiles designed and built in the last century that are completely unsuitable for this one
We could find $18 billion by preventing the end-of-year spending sprees that leads to contract money being shoveled out the door. The Congressional Research Service has documented these spikes and set your watch to it. Each September as offices at the Pentagon go on a last-minute spending sprees to justify next-year budget increases.
We have increased our military spending year after year, senselessly and needlessly, and during a time when we have ended an almost two-decade war, there is no reason for us to be increasing our military spending and our defense budget when we are not funding child care, health care, housing priorities and the climate crisis here at home.
Watch her full introduction of the amendment below: