WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 – The Senate today advanced a Department of Defense bill that would authorize $560 billion for the military. The vote was 85-14. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted “no” and issued the following statement:
“I am voting no because I have very serious concerns about our nation's bloated military budget and the misplaced national priorities this bill reflects.
“At a time when our national debt is more than $18 trillion and we spend nearly as much on defense as the rest of the world combined, the time is long overdue to end the waste and financial mismanagement that have plagued the Pentagon for years.
“The situation is so absurd that the military is unable to even account for how it spends all of its money. The non-partisan watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, said ‘serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense made its financial statements un-auditable.’
“I support a strong defense system for our country and a robust National Guard and Reserve that can meet our domestic and foreign challenges. At a time when the country is struggling with huge unmet needs, however, it is unacceptable that the Defense Department continues to waste massive amounts of money.”