As Republicans work to pound out a 2018 budget, one area of contention within the Republican majority has been over exactly how large the Defense budget should be. With the House Armed Services Committee proposing to set it at $696 billion and the Senate Armed Services Committee calling for $700 billion, negotiations will continue until a specific price tag is set. What seems certain is that spending will be up dramatically from the $618.7 billion Defense budget in 2017.
These proposals align well with President Trump’s campaign pledges to increase military spending to rebuild the military and finance a renewed effort to combat global terrorism. However, amidst the Republican frenzy to produce a budget vastly ramping up military expenditures, few lawmakers are asking if the money already allocated is being spent as efficiently as it could be. Indeed, Congress may once again pass up an opportunity to work towards eliminating waste within the military by closing excess military bases.
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