President Donald Trump promised to eliminate limits on defense spending Tuesday while delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress.
Trump said he will present a bill to Congress that “eliminates the defense sequester.” He also noted that it calls for one of the largest increases in defense spending in U.S. history.
“Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve,” said Trump.
The defense sequester was the result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was signed into law by former President Barack Obama. The law caused major cuts in the military’s operations and maintenance accounts, which has subsequently had a drastically negative effect on the military’s training and readiness. The vice Joint Chiefs of Staff warned Congress earlier this month that the readiness issue is a major national security concern. In one example, Navy Adm. William Moran claimed that less than half of the Navy’s aircraft are ready to fly.
Trump briefly outlined his upcoming budget proposal Monday, noting it will have a significant focus on national security. The president’s budget will propose a $54 billion increase in defense spending, some of which will ostensibly go toward rebuilding all branches of the military — a major campaign promise. Other agencies, such as the Department of State, will reportedly see cuts to make up the difference.
The president said during his campaign that he would rebuild all aspects of the military, however, overcoming budget limitations and passing his bill through Congress will be the first steps in making good on the promise.
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