The Pentagon has asked Congress to classify defense spending, which means it would no longer be available to the public. An unclassified version of the Pentagon budget has been required since 1989.

According to Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, this would “make it even harder for Congress and the public to refocus and reconstruct the defense budget.” The Pentagon has already ceased publishing its previously easily accessible proposals on the web, he noted.

This proposed lack of transparency is particularly egregious in light of the Pentagon’s failure to pass an audit. If anything, in this time of tremendous need to cover health care costs due to COVID-19, the Pentagon and Trump administration should look to the Pentagon’s budget to redirect its pork spending and spending on outdated weapons systems to national health care. This is the true national security threat at the moment and, according to the administration’s report, for at least the 18 months to come.

Please contact Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree to retain transparency regarding the Pentagon budget and to redirect Pentagon spending to national health care.

Ginny Schneider

South Portland

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