Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

What follows is a conversation between the Friends Congressional National Legislative Committee’s Hassan El-Tayyab and Sharmini Peries of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner. Good to have you all with us.

Wednesday night, the United States Congress passed a $738 billion defense bill. That’s $20 billion more than last year, and $120 billion more than under Obama. 180 Democrats voted for it, along with most of the Republicans. Now, that vote was interesting. 41 Democrats, 6 Republicans, and 1 Independent voted no. But this bill is a hugely comprehensive bill that gives Trump his Space Force and gives the green light to more wars without end.

To put this in perspective, Poor People’s Campaign leader Liz Theoharis said in The Nation that we give $34 billion in this bill to Lockheed Martin–which we’ll talk about during the course of this conversation–but nothing in this Congress for 140 million people living in poverty or the 40 million people facing food insecurity across the country, let alone what we need for our teachers, schools, and building a new green economy. So how do we respond? What does this mean for the future? What are the next steps? What happens in the U.S. Senate?(Marc Steiner)

Posted by The non-Conformist