During his campaign last year, President Trump has promised on several occasions that he really intends to rebuild our nation’s military after so many years of budget caps, spending cuts and other constraints which have greatly weakened our fighting force. And now, the House of Representatives just made a move that will help fulfill this promise of President Trump’s.
As reported by Politico, House of Representatives has just proposed its version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 344-81.
This new legislation requests a total of $696 billion for the defense budget, which is well over the $603 billion in President Trump’s suggested budget and obviously a lot more than the $549 billion allowed under the previous administration.
Out of the $696 billion, around $621.5 billion are about towards the Pentagon’s base budget, and the other $75 would be allocated for overseas war funding. Part of the base budget is intended to cover an increase in funding for missile defense, as well as a 2.4 percent pay raise for the military, which is more than the 2.1 percent the president asked for.
Another part of the budget is planned for paying for an increase of 17,000 additional Army troops, and also funding for couple of new Navy ships and fighter aircraft, reports the Washington Examiner.
The House NDAA now needs to settle with the Senate version of the legislation, which has been passed out of the Armed Services Committee but still awaits a full vote on the floor.
As reported by the Military Times, this Senate legislation actually requests $700 billion in defense spending. These two legislations may look similar but there are still some differences that need to be settled, such as the final amounts of the pay raise, the number of the increased troops, the number of new ships and fighter aircrafts.
What needs to be expected is that there will have to be some sort of compromise on working around the budget caps imposed by the sequester, and that Dems are sure to request increased domestic spending in exchange for signing off on this budget, probably the largest one so far.
Additionally, critics are also inevitable part of this move, who rightly point out the waste, fraud and abuse of this budget, and the mis-allocated funding which they think ought to be located in some other sector.
Nevertheless, it’s still better that having a fight with a progressive Democrat administration that is set on starving our Army at such a time when external threats are drastically growing.
Although this defense budget cannot achieve the complete rebuild of our army that it needs, but it’s certainly a move forward in improving our army and setting it on a path toward the ultimate goal of having a stronger and better-equipped military.