President Trump released his proposed $4.38 trillion budget for fiscal 2019 on Monday, a plan that calls for big increases in military spending and border security after years of budget caps hampering national defense.
The administration is requesting $716 billion for the Defense Department, a 13-percent increase over 2017 levels. The fiscal 2018 budget, which still has not passed Congress, would contain $80 billion more funding for the military, for a total increase of $165 billion in Pentagon spending over two years.
The White House said the increase is necessary to confront “an era of increased global disorder, with a security environment more complex and volatile than any our country has faced in recent memory.”
“As a nation, we face difficult times – challenged by a crumbling infrastructure, growing deficits, rogue nations, and irresponsible Washington spending,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “Through this budget proposal, it is clear that the president and this administration are determined to reverse these trends, and ensure greater prosperity for the hard-working American taxpayer.
The proposed hike in national security spending is a victory for Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, who said the U.S. military needed to be freed from budget caps under the sequestration deal that hampered Pentagon planning and military readiness. Although the Defense Department comprises about 15 percent of the federal budget, it absorbed half of the cuts required by the Budget Control Act.