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Senators and congressman urged to vote for better use of $50 billion

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on members of Congress, and all of us, to work for public policies that reflect our shared values. He gave some exciting proposals to move in that direction

Now, it is our and Congress' turn to go even further than the president outlined to bring about a more peaceful and just world, which will enable us to fund those initiatives.

After more than a decade of war, we know there is no military solution to the threat of violent extremism. I urge Congress to begin the turn-around process by repeal of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Rep. Tim Walz already has made a public commitment to support repeal of the bill. I urge Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to do the same.

Then we have to take to look at the budget. We are spending as much for our military as we did at the height of the Cold War. The Pentagon also wants an extra $50 billion in a slush fund (the Overseas Contingency Operation Fund), which is not subject to congressional oversight for its use. I urge Walz, Franken and Klobuchar to vote to use that $50 billion for projects that reflect our shared values.

Marian Van Dellen

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Rochester

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