Military Industrial complex pushing for more than 3% increase proposed by Trump

President Trump’s budget proposal had $603 billion for defense but House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry and Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain are pushing for $640 billion.

The increase money would be to fund:

  • upgrading Army and Marine ground forces, especially giving combat vehicles in Europe Active Protection Systems to stop Russian anti-tank missiles ($15.1 billion);
  • strengthening the Navy both with new ships, including an additional aircraft carrier, and with better maintenance for the ships it already has ($13.7 billion)
  • rebuilding Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fighter fleets by overhauling some aging aircraft and replacing others with new F-35s and Super Hornets ($10.9 billion);
  • modernizing capabilities for space, missile defense, and nuclear deterrence ($2.4 billion); and
  • improving medical care for wounded troops in the “Golden Hour” after injury ($1.1 billion).

Neither the Thornberry-McCain $640 billion nor Trump’s $603 billion includes Overseas Contingency Operations funds, which are exempt from sequestration. Originally an emergency measure to fund post-9/11 wars, OCO has increasingly become a catch-all to evade the BCA.