Trump Signs Bill to Provide $700 Billion for the Pentagon, Maybe

Lester Mason
December 13, 2017

President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Tuesday afternoon at the White House, approving spending levels for us military efforts.

Negotiators have been eyeing a $54 billion defense spending increase above the caps, lower than the NDAA but on par with the president's budget request.

Indeed, even as he celebrated the NDAA, Trump hit Congress - specifically Democrats - for not passing a defense spending bill.

"In recent years, our military has undergone a series of deep budget cuts that have severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters", Trump said, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph F. Dunford, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry and other military officials and senior Cabinet members. "I think it's going to happen". We need our military.

He urged Democrats in Congress to quit threatening to shut down the government and "send clean funding and a clean funding bill to my desk that fully funds our great military. Protecting our country should always be a bipartisan issue, just like today's legislation".

Among its many provisions, the bill includes instructions for a 2.4 percent pay raise for service members, the addition of 20,000 troops to the armed services and the acquisition of new military equipment, including $10 billion for 90 F-35 fighters. "Fast", Mr. Trump said. However, this NDAA exceeds the spending caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act to keep deficits under control, and lawmakers could have a fight ahead about how to fund the bill, which exceeds the 2018 budget cap of $549 billion by $150 billion.

Many Republicans favor easing the caps for defense spending only. "This critical piece of legislation funds the Pentagon, takes care of our courageous men and women in uniform and helps the Anniston Army Depot".

And it includes a provision - touted as a win by Democrats - that calls climate change a "direct threat to the national security of the United States".

Trump campaigned on the pledge of increasing military spending and has said America needs more ships, submarines, troops and missiles.

Trump vowed to end both immigration programs quickly.

But Trump thanked him Tuesday for his work on the defense bill.

Trump released a lengthy statement after signing the bill in which he complained that multiple provisions amounted to congressional overreach that he argued infringed upon his executive authority. Such statements were common when former President Obama signed NDAAs, as well.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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