Congressional Hawks Expect Battle for Military Spending Hikes

Leadership Scoffs at Trump's Proposed Hike, Wants Even More

There’s been a trend in the US in military spending in recent years. The president asks for a substantial increase in spending, Congress condemns it as too small, proposes an even bigger one, then the House and Senate take turns trying to outdo one another until the budget has been completely busted.

President Trump tried to get out in front of that trend in February, proposing a far bigger increase in spending than is usual, and bragging about how much it proved he’s pro-military. That did not, however, stop Congressional hawks from reacting as they always do, complaining it is insufficient and vowing to demand more.

Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R – TX) are leading the charge, with the usual collection of ultra-hawks having their back, but also facing the reality that Trump struggled with proposed cuts to justify his already substantial hikes, and they are seeking even more with even less of an idea how to pay for it.

Fear of cuts to the State Department, cuts to foreign aid, and cuts to domestic spending are all going to array some in Congress against the most reckless spending increases, and the McCain faction are getting ready for another round of accusing every opponent of not being sufficiently patriotic.

Analysts say they might be lucky to even get the Trump-proposed hike, however, which was already far above what the anticipated budget was. Analysts are predicting a $40-$45 billion increase, while Trump seeks $54 billion, and McCain seeking in excess of $80 billion.

As ever, Congress will compromise with a budget they can’t really afford, and everyone will be unhappy for not getting their way. In the meantime, they’ll be fighting angrily with one another the whole way.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.