Meanwhile, defense hawks are pushing a $700 billion defense budget for fiscal 2018 to start a buildup of the military. Defense Secretary James Mattis has asked for 3 percent to 5 percent budget growth each year to pay for a sustained increase of the armed forces that includes thousands of additional troops, dozens of additional ships and a hundred more combat aircraft.
Democrats have slammed Republicans for cutting taxes at the very time they are looking for significant increases in defense spending.
“In an act of absolute pure insanity, we want to reduce revenue by another $1.5 trillion plus. If you add in the interest the debt accrues, I guess it’s over $2 trillion,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters at a recent breakfast roundtable.