Mayors Vote to End Wars, Use Money on Hometown Projects

BALTIMORE -- Mayors from across the United States passed a resolution Monday urging Congress to quickly end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and spend the money on domestic priorities.

The mayors voted during the last day of an annual conference of mayors in Baltimore.

The resolution says $126 billion is being spent each year on the wars. It says that money should be spent at home to create jobs, rebuild infrastructure, develop sustainable energy and provide for other needs.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the group Friday that it is mind-boggling to him that the money is being spent to build bridges in Kandahar and Baghdad and not in Baltimore and Kansas City.

The mayors also released a report on 363 metropolitan areas that found unemployment was expected to remain at double-digit levels in 75 areas through December. Forty-eight areas are not expected to return to peak employment until after 2020.

However, the report also found the nation's gross domestic product was expected to reach 3.5 percent in the second half of 2011 and that by 2014 more than half of metro areas will have returned to their previous peak employment levels.

The forecasts were based on the assumption that Congress will extend the debt ceiling.
Mayors attending the conference also called on Congress to do more to stimulate the economy.

"We need to stand for a new world order in federal spending," said Villaraigosa, the incoming president of the mayors conference. "It's time to bring our investments back home."