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House Armed Services Committee Chairman On Defense Budget: “We Can & Should Do More”

February 28, 2017

On Monday, the White House announced that President Donald Trump was seeking to increase 2018 defense spending by $54 billion dollars by cutting about the same amount from non-defense programs. While Trump’s proposal would increase defense spending above what was proposed by former President Barack Obama, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry said that “we can and should do more” to reverse the large defense cuts that occurred during the last administration.

“Over the course of the Obama Administration, our military funding was cut 20 percent while the world grew more dangerous,” Rep. Thornberry said in a statement. “While we cannot repair all of the damage done by those cuts in a single year, we can and should do more than this level of funding will allow.”

“The Administration will have to make clear which problems facing our military they are choosing not to fix,” he continued. “We cannot make repairing and rebuilding our military conditional on fixing our budget problems or on cutting other spending. We owe it to the men and women who serve and to the American people to protect our nation’s security under all circumstances.”

Sen. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, also stated that he shared a similar sentiment as his counterpart in the House.

“With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget,” McCain said Monday. “We can and must do better.”

The proposed budget would increase defense spending to a total of $603 billion and decrease non-defense spending to $462 billion, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney during a press briefing Monday. McCain recently pushed for a $640 billion dollar defense budget in a “white paper” called “Restoring American Power.”

During a meeting with state governors at the White House, President Trump said his budget plan included a “historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America.”