Merkley’s War Spending

Last week, amidst the frenzy over the Kavanaugh nomination, the U.S. Senate quietly passed HR 6157 — the Department of War (I refuse to call it “Defense”) and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Act, 2019. This bill includes a bloated $607 billion of war spending.

Every Senate Democrat voted for the bill. Only six Republicans and Bernie Sanders voted no.

I am a Vietnam veteran. To me, there is no crime bigger than war. There is no larger drain on our economy than war spending, and no more corrupt a system than the corporate-military-congressional institutions that support such spending.

So I wanted to know why Sen. Jeff Merkley voted for this bill. I spoke to several staffers in Merkley’s D.C. office in a futile attempt to get an explanation. All I got was the usual runaround of “email your comments to the Senator and we’ll get back to you.”

To be honest, I don’t care what justification Sen. Merkley gives. I don’t care if he’s blue, red, green or purple, supports progressive causes, loves his kids, whatever. I know what war is about, and I will never vote for anyone who votes for war spending, even a single vote.

Pat Driscoll