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Defense Spending Proposal Falls Short

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 defense budget falls short of achieving the goals that senior congressional policymakers advocated earlier this year and will not meet necessary increases in readiness, weapons, and troop levels.

The president’s defense request is $42 billion more than the levels contained in the just-signed FY 2017 Continuing Resolution for Appropriations. The base budget for defense is $574 billion, with an additional $65 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) activities, for a total of $639 billion. The president’s base defense budget proposal is actually $20 billion short of what former President Obama had proposed.

“The FY 2018 budget request will likely not fund the 350-ship Navy that Trump advocated last September while campaigning and cannot accommodate increases in troops for the Army and Marine Corps. It leaves uncertain such items as a new bomber and the future of advanced submarines,” BPC Senior Advisor Steve Bell said.

“As personnel costs continue to rise, the defense budget request increase will be used in part to meet those additional costs, instead of improvements in readiness and increases in ships and planes,” he said.

“While the budget document notes that the defense request could change, depending upon the result of the wide-ranging national security review now underway, the budget recommendations for FY 2018 represent a ceiling in our judgment, not a floor, for future defense budget negotiations,” Bell added.

“The recommended increases fail to significantly begin to redress the approximately $1 trillion in cuts imposed on the Defense Department in the last decade,” he said.

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, FY 2017, FY 2018, OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, STEVE BELL