McCain Says Trump's Proposed Increase In Defense Spending Is Not Enough

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President Donald Trump's first budget proposal calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, but Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., argued Monday that even more is needed.

McCain, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted Trump's defense budget request for $603 billion would be $18.5 billion above the level proposed by former President Barack Obama for fiscal year 2018.

"In other words, President Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is a mere 3 percent above President Obama's defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security," McCain said.

He added, "With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama's budget. We can and must do better."

McCain argued a defense budget of $640 billion is required as a first step toward restoring military readiness, rebuilding the military and reshaping U.S. forces for the realities of 21st century warfare.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Tex., was also critical of the proposed increase in defense spending for failing to go far enough.

"Over the course of the Obama Administration, our military funding was cut 20 percent while the world grew more dangerous," Thornberry said. "While we cannot repair all of the damage done by those cuts in a single year, we can and should do more than this level of funding will allow."

He added, "The Administration will have to make clear which problems facing our military they are choosing not to fix."

Thornberry also argued against making the increase in defense spending contingent on reducing spending in other areas.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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