U.S. mayors voted Monday in favor of a resolution calling on Congress to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so the money can be rerouted to domestic priorities. It's the first time since the Vietnam War that mayors have banded together to urge such action.
There was some disagreement among the mayors who were in Baltimore for the 79th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, with some of them worrying that the resolution (number 59 in this list) might send a message to members of the U.S. military that they didn't have the support of the municipal chief executives.
Some were also troubled by the concern that the action by their non-partisan organization could be mistakenly viewed as partisan. (In the video below, the debate on the resolution starts a little more than two hours in.)
The mayors tweaked the language of the original amendment to add praise for military service members. They also added the president to the amendment which in its original for (see below) only mentioned Congress.
The mayors also added the idea that nothing they were calling for should be done in a way as to destabilize those two countries. The changes led to a nearly unanimous vote. Apparently, on final vote only one mayor voted against the resolution.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO REDIRECT MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC PRIORITIES
1. WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and
2. WHEREAS, the people of the United States are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars per year to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
3. WHEREAS, 6,024 members of the US armed forces have died in these wars; and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began.
4. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of
Mayors supports efforts to speed up the ending of these wars; and
5. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.