Republicans Say Trump Budget Skimps on Defense

Leading members of Congress from President Donald Trump’s own party said that his budget proposal does not increase defense spending enough. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Trump’s proposal would not allow the military to rebuild adequately. “We can and should do more than this level of funding will allow,” he said in a statement, adding that “the administration will have to make clear which problems facing our military they are choosing not to fix.” The White House is proposing $603 billion in defense spending for Fiscal 2018, according to reports, which would mark a $54 billion increase over President Barack Obama’s budget plan. Still, Trump’s plan falls well short of the $640 billion proposed in January by Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), which was endorsed by Thornberry.

“With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just three percent more than President Obama’s budget,” McCain said in a statement released Monday. “We can and must do better.” Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who chairs the tactical and land forces subcommittee in the House, disputed the administration’s claim that its proposal would increase defense spending by 10 percent, calling it “fake budgeting” in a statement. “Our military’s readiness has suffered immensely over the past eight years due to stringent budget cuts,” he added. “It is imperative we can make a real attempt to reverse dangerous trends in defense spending.”