Trump plots 9.2 per cent rise in defence spending

The president does not have the final say on federal spending


Reuters February 28, 2017
US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, US. January 27, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is seeking what he called a ‘historic’ increase in military spending of more than nine per cent, a huge rise even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world’s strongest military power.

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Trump will seek to boost Pentagon spending in the next fiscal year by $54 billion in his first budget proposal and slash the same amount from non-defence spending, including a large reduction in foreign aid, a White House budget official said on Monday.

The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee called President Donald Trump’s defense budget request low, a sign of the fight ahead between Trump’s party and Democrats.

The president does not have the final say on federal spending. His plan to ramp up military spending is part of a budget proposal to Congress, which, while it is controlled by his fellow Republicans, will not necessarily follow his plans. “This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,”

Trump proposes $54bn increase in defence spending

Trump told state governors at the White House. “It will include an historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,” he said.

Officials said the defence budget increase would be financed partly by cuts to the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defence programmmes.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2017.

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