Representative Alan Grayson is working hard in Congress to get things done. Not something that can be said of many of our representatives. Most recently, he has succeeded in having 5 of 20 suggested amendments included in the 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill:
- Subtract $10 million from the war budget, and spend it instead on research to find a cure for the 250,000 victims of “Gulf War Syndrome” — a 50% increase in that research budget;
- Subtract another $10 million from the war budget, and spend it instead on prostate cancer research;
- No defense contracts to any contractor convicted of fraud, bribery, and ten other major offenses;
- A cap on the number of generals and admirals, because there are 25% more today than there were at the height of the Cold War (when there were far more U.S. soldiers to command), and because each general costs more than $1 million in staff costs alone;
- A ban on torture.
Among the amendments that did not make the cut:
- suicide prevention for U.S. troops;
- an end to Pentagon censorship of news sources for U.S. soldiers;
- a ban on charging military families to enroll in health coverage;
- a prohibition on employing the U.S. military to steal Afghan oil;
- prevention of no-bid contract awards to foreign contractors;
- a ban on DOD surveillance of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without probable cause.
Other amendments were pulled to for being similar to those already being proposed by other legislators.
If any of these legislative efforts strike you as laudable and worthy of pursuit, write to Representative Alan Grayson, even if he doesn’t represent you. And write to those who do represent you, urging them to work with leaders like Rep. Grayson who are working first and foremost for the American people.