A two year budget deal has been hammered out between the Democrats and Republicans that increases (for the first time since the Obama Sequester) funds for the Military. Mattis remains optimistic that it will pass.
Chuck Schumer said that the Democrats were changing their strategy in order to avoid a government shutdown and would deal with DACA at a later date. Not everyone agrees with his “strategy.”
The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military. It ends the dangerous sequester and gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to keep America Great. Republicans and Democrats must support our troops and support this Bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018
“America can afford survival”
In a briefing to news media at the White House Press Briefing room, Secretary of Defense James Mattis implored Congress to pass the bipartisan budget deal.
“The Pentagon needs Congress to lift the defense spending caps and support a two-year budget agreement for our military. America can afford survival….We expect the men and women of our military to be faithful in their service, even when going in harm’s way. We have a duty to remain faithful to them.” James Mattis
The military has been at the mercy of extreme budgetary restrictions for the last 8 years. Known as the “Sequester,” it has left equipment, aircraft, ships, training, and general military readiness in limbo.
The deal would provide $700 billion for the military in fiscal year 2018 — with $71 billion in the overseas contingency operations account that is used to pay for war expenses. Funding would increase to $716 billion for fiscal year 2019, with $69 billion in the OCO account.
The request for fiscal year 2019 will go to Capitol Hill on Feb. 12. Mattis told lawmakers that the priority in the 2019 budget is to replace “yesterday’s weapons and equipment.” In the new request, he said, “You will see in our budget investments in space and cyber, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defense, advanced autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, and professional military education.” Mattis added that the increase would be “sufficient to begin down the trail to restore our competitive advantage that has been eroded.”
Even though this deal is a bipartisan construct, there are Democrats who hate it. Nancy Pelosi defiantly says she will not support it unless she gets assurances from Speaker Paul Ryan that the House will take up the DACA after passage.
The deal also contains funding for disaster relief, the children’s health care program (CHIP), the opioid crisis, helping the US infrastructure for highways, bridges, rural broadband, veteran’s hospitals, college aid, etc..
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