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Progressives Push Obama on Weapons Waste

Would Barack Obama do anything to cut the Pentagon’s $700 billion dollar budget? It’s a question that wasn’t exactly a hot topic during the primary season, but is now being pursued by key, liberal Obama supporters.

The Hill reports that the Black Leadership Forum and League of United Latin American Citizens wrote a letter to Obama urging him to take on wasteful weapons program like the F-35 joint strike fighter and the ballistic missile defense program. Congress’s progressive caucus has also gotten into the act with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Ca.), the caucus co-chair, calling for an Obama presidency to end "Cold-War era weapons systems." Lee wants the money spent on domestic programs like health care.

Between spending on weapons and wars, the Pentagon’s budget has nearly doubled under the Bush administration. Some progressive Obama supporters have also been quietly critical of his calls to increase the number of marines by almost 100,000.

Obama hasn’t said much in the way of redirecting weapons money for social welfare programs. It will be interesting to see if the push makes its way into the general election campaign.

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