Friday, March 17, 2017

Lawmakers: Trump's $54 Billion Defense Hike 'Not Enough' |

Lawmakers: Trump's $54 Billion Defense Hike 'Not Enough' | President Donald Trump's "America First Budget" renewed his pledge to boost defense spending by $54 billion and congressional Republicans immediately renewed their complaint that it was "not enough."

Trump's fiscal 2018 budget request released Thursday included $639 billion for the Department of Defense, a sum that the White House Office of Management and Budget said was an increase of $52 billion over the level authorized under a stopgap funding measure known as a continuing resolution on the 2017 budget.

The $639 billion total included $574 billion for the base budget, a 10 percent increase from the 2017 CR level, and $65 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations -- the so-called "war budget."

OMB said the budget request would end sequestration "by restoring $52 billion to DoD, as well as $2 billion to other national defense programs outside DOD, for a $54 billion total increase for national defense discretionary budget authority above the sequestration level budget cap."

The budget office claimed that the $54 billion hike over the 2017 budget of $587 billion would exceed "the entire defense budget of most countries, and would be one of the largest one-year DoD increases in American history."

"Unlike spending increases for war, which mostly consume resources in combat, the increases in the President's budget primarily invest in a stronger military," it said.

The chairman of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees -- Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican -- quickly said the $54 billion wasn't enough and would not provide for a quick enough military buildup to deter threats.