With the upcoming elections less than a week away, the Democrats are hoping for a clean sweep. They are hoping that they’ll maintain their control over the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate and the White House. 

But even if the Democratic party controls all three institutions, there is already a fight brewing. Not a fight between the parties — that has already been consuming Washington for several years — but within the Democratic Party itself.

Emboldened progressives, already sensing a clean sweep on November 3, are calling for huge cuts in defense spending and funneling the cash to domestic spending. 

Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said recently that “meaningful budget cuts in Pentagon spending” will be “a top priority” for the group next year. Her comments were echoed by other progressive Democrats. 

“It’s a real unique opportunity to be able to both support funding for things that we think more directly support people in the country,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) the current co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “And at the same time, we can have a critical look at defense spending, which rarely gets any kind of critical look whatsoever.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, a progressive Democrat from California, tried to initiate legislation to cut the coming year’s defense budget by 10 percent. But that move garnered little internal support and went nowhere in the House. 

“You can’t really enhance the quality of life and address economic inequality and poverty and all our domestic needs if we have an excessive defense budget,” Lee said in an interview. “We can have a much more reduced budget, by at least 10 percent, and still maintain a strong national security and take care of our troops.”

Representatives Lee and Pocan, both members of the House Appropriations Committee, announced the creation of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus. It will intend to serve as an organizing point to continue demanding reductions to the Pentagon’s annual defense budget.