The Raleigh City Council voted 5-3 Tuesday to approve a resolution urging the federal government to cut military spending.
The group Return Our War Dollars brought nearly 100 people to a recent council meeting in support of the resolution. The group’s leaders said $1.75 billion in tax revenues should be spent on domestic projects rather than military efforts.
The council didn’t debate the war in Afghanistan, discussing instead whether the issue merits city leaders’ two cents. Return Our War Dollars members said such resolutions offer a stronger message to federal officials, and city councils in Durham and Burlington have already approved the document.
“I’d rather focus on the things we actually have a say in – how we develop the city,” said Councilman Bonner Gaylord, who voted against the resolution. “Not that I’m against bringing war dollars home – I’m against the principle of voting for foreign policy suggestions from this board.”
The original resolution asks the federal government to “end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our troops and war dollars home and use those and other savings in military spending to meet vital human needs” and other domestic priorities.
The city council took out the phrase “our troops” because several military veterans on the board objected to the wording.
“Where I do have an issue is where you bring it on the backs of the guys that are downrange,” Councilman Randy Stagner said. “Do not involve the soldiers.”
But Councilman John Odom said he was against the revised text. “Leaving the troops there and taking the money out creates a problem for me,” he said.