Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee, introduced a bill June 15 that would cut the “bloated” annual defense budget.

The bill calls for cutting up to $350 billion from current budget plans, including the entire proposal for a new U.S. Space Force, while urging the Defense Department to complete a full audit by the end of calendar year 2020 and pushing for the State Department to better utilize its diplomatic and foreign assistance efforts to help maintain national security.

“We cannot continue to prioritize funding for a department known for its waste, fraud, abuse, and failure to pass an audit – especially when the money to ‘protect national security’ is failing to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Lee said in a Monday statement.

In order to find that level of funding cuts, Lee’s bill calls for eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account altogether to save $68.6 billion, closing 60 percent of foreign bases to save $90 billion, and cutting “unnecessary weapons that are obsolete, excessive and dangerous” for $57.9 billion in savings.

The bill, if enacted, would also eliminate the “proposal” for the U.S. Space Force to save $2.6 billion. The Space Force was established in the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has two senior officials who commissioned earlier this year and has over 16,000 servicemembers currently assigned to its mission.

Other budget saving efforts included in the bill are proposals to reduce operations and maintenance budget levels to save $6 billion, end “use it or lose it” contract spending to save $18 billion, and cut private service contracting by 15 percent to save $26 billion. Lee’s proposal would reduce the U.S. military troop presence in Afghanistan by half to save over $23 billion, cut military overhead by 15 percent to save $38 billion, and end “wars and war funding” to save $66 billion.

Lee highlighted in her bill that the Pentagon spent nearly $1 billion in preparing its 2018 audit, and claimed that “achieving an agency-wide audit could take years if it is to ever achieve one, let alone pass” it. She also lambasted the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund as becoming a “make-war-easy budget gimmick” that has spent over $1.8 trillion since 2001.

Lee also serves as co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus along with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.). This past May, she led a group of 29 Democrats in writing a letter to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) that demanded the FY ’21 NDAA authorize a level of funding below the FY ’20 topline amount of $738 billion. Should all House Republicans elect to vote no on the FY ’21 NDAA, only 19 Democrats would need to vote no to sink the bill, the letter noted.

HASC is conducting subcommittee markups for the FY ’21 NDAA June 19-22, and is conducting the full committee markup July 1.