Bipartisan budget deal boosts military spending
Friday, February 09, 2018
President Donald Trump signed a two-year federal budget early Friday morning that reopened the government after it briefly shut down overnight. The deal passed by Congress lifts caps on spending by an estimated $300 billion, with the majority of that increase going toward military funding.
Trump hailed the legislation on Twitter: "Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!"
Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
According to the National Priorities Project, 54 percent of the federal discretionary budget flows to the military, including funds for modernizing the nuclear arsenal, which began under President Barack Obama. Nonmilitary spending (public education, veterans care, research, environmental protections, etc.) accounts for 46 percent of the 2018 federal budget.
According to MarketWatch, military spending will be raised by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and by $85 billion the following year. Nonmilitary spending would increase by $63 billion in this fiscal year, which ends in September, and by $68 billion the following year.
The budget raises federal spending on defense to one of its highest levels since World War II, said William D. Hartung, an author and director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Defense spending will rise to $700 billion in 2018 and $716 billion in 2019.
In addition, the budget repeals the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board to control Medicare costs. The budget deal also increases funding of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by another four years, in addition to the program's extension of six years that Congress voted for in January.
The Senate first approved the two-year federal budget deal in a 71-28 vote, followed by the House's vote of 240-186. Democrats in both chambers voted for the budget, but not House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Among other Democrats, Pelosi opposed the legislation because it did not provide protection for young undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers" (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
The budget that Trump signed increases federal borrowing, the difference between the money the government collect in taxes and the amount that it spends. This increase of federal borrowing spurred Sen. Paul Rand (R-Ky.) to delay the bill in a bid to restore the Obama-era spending caps. The House Freedom Caucus of about 30 members also opposed the budget for its increase of nonmilitary spending.
Ultimately, though, these GOP fiscal hawks failed to stop the bipartisan budget from passing. Democrats helped Republicans to vote in favor of the bill during the early morning hours.
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