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H.R. 808, the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013

Posted 3/22/2013

The Bill: H.R. 808, the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013

Annualized Cost: $10 billion ($50 billion over 5 years)

In each Congress from 2001 to 2009, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced a bill to establish a Department of Peace within the United States government. Now that Representative Kucinich is no longer a Member of Congress, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has taken the lead and introduced H.R. 808, the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013.

H.R. 808 establishes within the Department of Peacebuilding a number of offices designed to invest in peacekeeping studies and initiatives. Among them are the Offices of: Arms Control and Disarmament; Human Rights and Economic Rights; and Peace Education and Training. The text contains provisions for an Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Peace to resolve conflicts between various government agencies. The bill would also institute federal “Peace Days,” on which “[t]he Secretary shall encourage citizens to observe and celebrate the blessings of peace and endeavor to create peace… .”

According to Representative Lee, “[w]e invest hundreds of billions each year in the Pentagon, in war colleges, military academies, and our national defense universities all to develop war tactics and strategies. Now we need that kind of investment in peace and nonviolence here at home.”

Since H.R. 808 authorizes “such sums as may be necessary,” NTUF scored the bill based on an analysis of similar bills introduced by Representative Kucinich. In the 112th Congress, Kucinich introduced H.R. 808, the Department of Peace Act of 2011. That bill would have authorized $10 billion per year, or $50 billion over 5 years, to establish and operate a Department of Peace. Congresswoman Lee’s bill is virtually identical to that legislation, save for minor differences in certain offices’ titles.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.

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