04/04/2011 05:17 pm ET Updated Jun 04, 2011

The Next U.S. Target for Democracy Building

The following is a speech I gave on the House floor today:

It is said our Government runs on a system of checks and balances. But when it comes to war, the Administration writes all the checks and Congress doesn't know what the balance is. The Administration can wage war and ignore Congress, says the Secretary of State. Shut up and keep giving them the money.

Expanding war expands the Pentagon, costing more than $700 billion this year; that's 50% of discretionary spending. The United States funds 25% of NATO's military expenses. All these wars will cost trillions.

As of today we will have spent $805 billion to bring democracy to Iraq, $443 billion to bring democracy to Afghanistan, perhaps over a billion dollars already to bring democracy to Libya.

I have an idea: Let's bring democracy to America! Instead of cutting programs for the poor, for children, for pregnant women, or shutting down the government - - let's shut down the wars instead. Build bridges at home, don't blow them up abroad. Bring democracy to America! Jobs for all! Health care for all. Education for all. Retirement security for all! End the wars!

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