PS in advance – As many of you hav heard Senator Dianne Feinstein died on Friday at her home in Washington DC, she was 90. Feinstein was not always an ally of the modern climate movement, but she was an icon. And while her extremely long tenure (she was the oldest serving senator, and the longest-serving woman in the Senate at the time of her death) created conflict at the end of her career, she will nonetheless be missed and mourned by many. The vacancy of one Senate seat in California likely will not make a big impact on the shutdown of the Government this weekend, so we’re carrying on with our work and plans. And of course when and how a new Senator from California is appointed, and eventually elected, will have a lot of bearing on the kinds of spending bills and climate bills the Senate passes in the future. We’ll keep you posted.
In case you haven’t heard, the US government is hurtling towards a partial shutdown this weekend because fossil fuel fascist party members in the House are obsessed with stupid money. They just rejected a short-term, bi-partisan Senate compromise out of hand, and are completely obsessed with cutting spending on education, climate change, and other things they find inconvenient while actually increasing spending on the Pentagon and fossil fuels.
A government shutdown is almost guaranteed this weekend, so pressure is building on Senators to just accept any deal the House offers. Instead of negotiating over stupid money, we need the Senate to focus on the smart money – and that starts with accounting for, and cutting, the biggest source of government spending and of global warming pollution in the US – the Pentagon.
We’ve told you before about the insidious connection between fossil fuels, climate change, and the Pentagon. To date, the Pentagon has failed FIVE audits (the only five it has ever even conducted). Last year, the Dept. of Defense couldn’t account for over half of its assets — well over a TRILLION dollars in weapons, ships, and aircraft for which the paper trail is missing or incomplete.
The shutdown this weekend will hurt real families and could hold up distributing relief funds to communities ravaged by climate change. Now imagine the uproar if any other department, say the Energy Department, or Forest Service, could account for less than half of its assets or allowed contractors to overcharge them by 4,451%.
Despite being the largest spender among U.S. agencies, the Pentagon remains the ONLY federal agency to never pass an independent audit. Why? There’s no penalty for failing. But Speaker McCarthy and his ship of fools in the House don’t care about that. They’re all agreed that we should keep throwing good money after bad at the Pentagon, while completely ignoring the waste, corruption, and climate pollution
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by Bernie Sanders has introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2023 to put teeth in the congressional audit requirement. If any Pentagon office fails the audit, it would have to return 1 percent of its budget to the Treasury for deficit reduction.
With a budget of nearly one trillion dollars — and a track record of failure — that could mean billions of dollars the Pentagon puts back in the bank. That’s money we can use to build a renewable energy arsenal of freedom, respond to climate fueled disasters, expand the Civilian Climate Corps President Biden announced last week, and more. That’s why many of us marched in the anti-militarism block at the march to end fossil fuels last week, and that’s why this moment is so important for our fight to end war and global warming. So let’s go get our money.