Grassroots Action Center

Turn Swords into Plowshares: Tell Congress to Cut Defense Spending and Reinvest it in SNAP Benefits
This week, many Presbyterians participated in Ecumenical Advocacy Days, an event where Christians come together to live out the Gospel through public policy action and education. The advocacy ask for this year’s EAD is for Congress to turn “swords into plowshares” by cutting our outsized military spending and reinvesting it into critical human needs programs.

While we were meeting, the House of Representatives took a step away from our proposal. On Wednesday night, they passed the "Limit, Save, Grow Act," a bill that holds hostage the routine increase of the debt ceiling in exchange for trillions in cuts to federal spending. If signed into law, the bill would exacerbate poverty for millions by reducing benefits of vital safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and Medicaid. Alongside these cuts the bill will limit access for millions of Americans through onerous work requirements and eligibility restrictions. These reductions will disproportionately harm people of color, children, the disabled, veterans, and the elderly.

While Congress moves to slash these critically needed human needs programs, it is also likely to support the president’s FY2024 budget request of $886 billion for the Pentagon and nuclear weapons programs in the Department of Energy, if not seek even higher funding levels. The result will be the highest military spending levels since World War II. To deny the poor and vulnerable the means to meet their basic needs for food, healthcare and shelter in the name of “fiscal responsibility,” yet place no limits to what we as a nation can spend on systems of violence and war that create such insecurity across the world is a gross injustice. This type of slash-and-burn governing that balances the federal budget on the backs of the poor is immoral and unsustainable.

Congress should embrace a better way. Tell your representatives to support the following policies and move the funds that go to buy weapons of destruction to programs that help people feed themselves and their families:

  • Support the $100 billion of cuts to the Pentagon budget outlined in the People Over Pentagon Act (H.R. 1134) and;
  • Protect social safety-net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid from proposed cuts, limits to eligibility, and work requirements,
  • Strengthen and expand SNAP and other nutritional assistance programs in the next Farm Bill by increasing funding and eligibility, removing barriers to access like the drug felony ban on receiving benefits, and addressing food security of vulnerable populations like veterans and LGBTQ adults.

As people of faith, we are called to turn Swords into Plowshares and build a world where there are no weapons, all creatures can live together without fear, and all may live free from want. Let us join together with others of good conscience to make such a world possible.

    Message Body
    Suggested Message
    Remaining: 0
  • Hide
    • Please call this number:

      Please do not close this window. You will need to come back to this window to enter your code.
      We just sent an email to ... containing a verification code.

      If you do not see the email within the next five minutes, please ensure you entered the correct email address and check your spam/junk mail folder.
      Enter Your Info
      Your Information
      By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive text messages from Presbyterian Church USA. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.
      Home Information

      Enter Your Info