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house Bill H.R. 1111

Does the U.S. Need a Department of Peacebuilding?

Argument in favor

As a nation the U.S. spends hundreds of billions each year on military and policing, and proportionally less gets spent on developing ways of eliminating the need for violence in the first place. This bill will help make the world a safer place.

Dean's Opinion
···
06/30/2015
I cannot predict if this department would indeed have any measurable impact on the proliferation of peace or the betterment of mankind. However, if we are to have several departments dedicated to a pessimistic view of humanity and representative of our need to defend ourselves from the evil we are capable of perpetrating on one another, then I'd like to see us have at least one that is dedicated to an optimistic view, and seeks to promote the good we are capable of as well. It's an endeavor that at the very least is worth attempting.
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Matt's Opinion
···
07/03/2015
It would be a monumental step in the direction our country desperately needs to take. We have a Department of War, oh I mean Defense - so it would send a strong message to not only the other countries of the world, but to our children as well; that we are not all out for blood.
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Bambi's Opinion
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06/30/2015
We need an agenda to counteract the plethora of unrest and violence in America. Citizens are becoming more desensitized to this wicked culture of violence.
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Argument opposed

Ever heard of the State Department? Or the Department of Defense? The U.S. already has agencies that fill these needs — the Dept. of Peacebuilding would be the most redundant agency ever created.

jackson's Opinion
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06/25/2015
How do you quantitatively measure how peaceful something is? A department of the sort would be given the power control situations based solely on its own discretion. This would quickly introduce partisanship, further leading to more conflict. Look how involved the EPA is with everyday life and it claims to stand for science.
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ThomasParker's Opinion
···
07/07/2015
This Orwellian construct will only serve to define "peace" as conformity to a political majority, and "conflict" as any dissent from that majority. We've given far too much power to government to dictate our lives; the last thing we need is a bureaucrat attempting to mediate civil or criminal matters, which are the responsibility of our judicial system.
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Kevin's Opinion
···
06/28/2015
Hell no! One more step towards tyranny. It seems this country is begging for a King, not for me!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedFebruary 26th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 1111?

This bill would establish a Department of Peacebuilding — an independent agency of the executive branch. This department would be led by a Secretary of Peacebuilding who would be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

The goals of the Department of Peacebuilding would be to:

  • Cultivate peace and peacebuilding as a strategic national policy objective;

  • Reduce and prevent violence in the U.S. and internationally through peacebuilding and effective nonviolent conflict resolution;

  • Strengthen nonmilitary peacemaking;

  • Address policy matters that are both domestic and international in scope;

  • Use the growing expertise in peacebuilding to reduce the national and global epidemic of violence;

  • Support local communities in developing, funding, and expanding programs to prevent violence;

  • Consult with federal agencies on the science of peacebuilding.

Within the Department of Peacebuilding, offices dedicated to specific fields would be established, including offices for:

  • Peace Education and Training;

  • Domestic Peacebuilding Activities;

  • International Peacebuilding Activities;

  • Technology for Peace;

  • Arms Control and Disarmament;

  • Peacebuilding Information and Research;

  • Human Rights and Economic Rights;

  • Intergovernmental and Federal Interagency Advisory Councils on Peace.

The Secretary of Peacebuilding would also be responsible for establishing Peace Days for celebration.

There is not a firm number on the appropriations that would be necessary to carry out this bill, but it authorizes funding to be brought forward. Of the total appropriations, at least 85 percent must be spent on domestic peace programs — which include administrative costs.

Impact

The to-be created Department of Peacebuilding, and programs it funds at the state, local, national, and international level. Oh yes, and of course, world peace.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1111

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: By sponsoring this legislation, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) aims to combat an unacceptable “culture of violence.” She went on to add that:
“On our streets and across the globe, the pervasive presence of violence has infected the lives of millions, and it is far past time we address it as a nation. We 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.”

An opinion piece published by U.S. News and World Report rebutted the contention that America needs a Department of Peacebuilding, observing that the U.S. already has an agency fulfilling that mission:

“It’s called the State Department. Ask anyone who works there — or ever has. They’ll tell you. It’s their professional mission to keep the United States at peace and to achieve its aims in the world peacefully.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user dying regime)

AKA

Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015

Official Title

To establish a Department of Peacebuilding.

    I cannot predict if this department would indeed have any measurable impact on the proliferation of peace or the betterment of mankind. However, if we are to have several departments dedicated to a pessimistic view of humanity and representative of our need to defend ourselves from the evil we are capable of perpetrating on one another, then I'd like to see us have at least one that is dedicated to an optimistic view, and seeks to promote the good we are capable of as well. It's an endeavor that at the very least is worth attempting.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    How do you quantitatively measure how peaceful something is? A department of the sort would be given the power control situations based solely on its own discretion. This would quickly introduce partisanship, further leading to more conflict. Look how involved the EPA is with everyday life and it claims to stand for science.
    Like (42)
    Follow
    Share
    This Orwellian construct will only serve to define "peace" as conformity to a political majority, and "conflict" as any dissent from that majority. We've given far too much power to government to dictate our lives; the last thing we need is a bureaucrat attempting to mediate civil or criminal matters, which are the responsibility of our judicial system.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    It would be a monumental step in the direction our country desperately needs to take. We have a Department of War, oh I mean Defense - so it would send a strong message to not only the other countries of the world, but to our children as well; that we are not all out for blood.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    Hell no! One more step towards tyranny. It seems this country is begging for a King, not for me!
    Like (15)
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    More Big Brother messing with things they don't need to be involved in. When does the ridiculousness end?!
    Like (14)
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    We need an agenda to counteract the plethora of unrest and violence in America. Citizens are becoming more desensitized to this wicked culture of violence.
    Like (13)
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    Let's downsize rather than empower government
    Like (10)
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    We need fewer Departments. Time to clean House. Start with the EPA IRS and Department of Education. These Departments have out lived their usefulness and gave become predatory to the American Culture and way of life.
    Like (8)
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    Domestic "education" seems to be the main focus of this bill. No thank you, I've read enough dsytopian books to cringe at domestic peacemaking education.
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    This was introduced in 2015 as a ruse to allow Obama more choices to redirect our tax dollars to foreign countries. More pie-in-the-sky liberal anti-American ideology! Absolutely NO WAY!!!
    Like (7)
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    Additional governmental bureaucracy is not the right path for improving the state of our nation.
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    These United States do not need another government agency. I will keep my money thank you.
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    Good place for pussy liberals. Let's weaken the U.S. some more.
    Like (3)
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    Next libs will tell us "war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength". Liberal posts on here chanting their dutiful bigot racist etc party platform cheers and spewing hate about our President shows exactly how uninformed many liberals are. It is so disrespectful and uneducated, so I can see why liberals feel they need government to tell them to be nice. Some folks think they are being so cool with their snarky personal attacks on our President but the posts demonstrate no relevant substance, intelligence or actual facts. I can see their ignorance is their strength. Meanwhile our President keeps increasing jobs, reducing illegal border crossings down by 40% and our stock market continues to improve. Things are improving despite the rioting by liberals and the obstruction by the beauties at the top of the Democratic Party. We are fortunate to be Americans and everyone is better off just in 50 days of President Trump's Presidency. Thank God the country got off their bums and voted this year! This bill's purpose is to promote peace in the communities --how about just enforce the laws. Community members need to stop breaking the law and stop defending the criminals who do it.
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    Department of Peace?!?!? Are you kidding me? We don't need another government department to waste taxpayer dollars.
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    One word "redundant". You want to build peace, build an economic base.
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    The legitimate roles of such a department are already handled by the Department of State and law enforcement/justice departments at all levels of government. I can't see a role beyond those which would make it anything but a Department of Censorship and Propaganda.
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    Stupid.
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    It’s called The Military and Navy! Peace Through Strength! Where have you dummies been?
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