Australian news, and some related international items

Donald Trump will propose $716 billion in defense spending in his fiscal 2019 budget

Pentagon Wins as Trump Readies a $716 Billion Budget Request, Bloomberg, By 

  • Big increase for Pentagon would deepen the U.S. deficit
    • Mattis has raised alarm over U.S. ‘competitive edge’ eroding

    President Donald Trump will propose $716 billion in defense spending in his fiscal 2019 budget request, a 7.2 percent from his request for this year that backs the Pentagon’s push for a major buildup, a U.S. official said.

     The funding would include $597 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget, with the rest going for its war-fighting account and to other government programs such as the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons program, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the release of Trump’s second proposed budget next month.

    The amount is a sharp increase from the $668 billion total Trump proposed last year for fiscal 2018 and also offered as a placeholder for fiscal 2019. Currently, the Pentagon is operating under stopgap funding at fiscal 2017 levels, which totaled $634 billion. The plan, reported earlier Friday by the Washington Post, represents a victory of defense hawks over those trying to constrain deficit spending.

     The U.S. official confirmed Trump’s next proposed budget will include major increases on procurement spending over the $124 billion sought this year.
     Mattis’s Push

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has pushed for a jump in defense spending to match the breadth of the new National Defense Strategy he released this month……….

  • Ultimately, Trump’s proposal will be measured by the amount it exceeds the caps in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

    Unless Congress waives the budget limits, as it’s done three times in the past, the cap for fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1, is $563 billion for defense-related spending, including $534 billion for the base defense budget.

    War-Fighting Fund

    The official said more than $90 billion of Trump’s budget proposal would come from the war-fighting fund — known as Overseas Contingency Operations — that’s exempt from caps. While the fund is supposedly for pressing war needs, it’s often used as a tool to bulk up overall defense funding. Trump’s war-fighting budget for the current year includes $10 billion for weapons acquisition……..

January 28, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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