President Donald J. Trump will request an additional $54B in defense spending amid cuts elsewhere in the federal budget, the White House announced Monday. Following the announcement, neoconservative war hawk Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., immediately criticized the proposal as insufficient.
“Such a budget request would represent an increase of $18.5 billion above the level proposed by President Obama for fiscal year 2018,” Sen. McCain said in a statement. “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.”
Sen. McCain, the failed 2008 Republican nominee and frequent critic of the president, said he and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry want $640 billion in additional defense spending. However, the White House says the initial budget proposal is negotiable, at least in one way.
“We going to have a bigger military than we every had before,” President Trump said. “It could be an additional $30 billion or so, but we are going to be doing more with less.”
During the presidential campaign, the former New York businessman proposed to boost defense spending, but also to renegotiate contracts to the benefit of the taxpayer. The president has already targeted Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) over the cost of Air Force One, setting a “Tone From the Top” early on that resulted in lower costs.