The new omnibus $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Trump signed last week, the Pentagon’s budget rose to the most in their history, $700 billion.
The military budget approved on Friday is packed with funding for new weapons as well as upgrades for older systems.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Trump has privately floated the idea of using that military budget to fund construction of a border wall with Mexico. Trump discussed that idea in a private meeting last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, a source familiar with the conversations said, as he reviewed the omnibus spending bill, which does not include funding for construction of a wall.
It was not immediately clear how serious Trump was about pursuing this option, but the move would likely face steep hurdles with appropriators in Congress.
Trump said the military spending was one of the major reasons he signed the bill, which had earlier threatened to veto.
“Our military is very depleted, but it’s rapidly getting better. And in a short period of time it will be stronger than it has ever been,” Trump said, touting some weapons systems as the best the world has ever seen.
“We in the military are humbled and grateful to the American people for their sacrifices on behalf of this funding,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said. “Now it’s our responsibility in the military to spend every dollar wisely in order to keep the trust and the confidence of the American people and the Congress.”
In the cases of several items, Congress gave the Pentagon even more than it asked for.
The F-35 and F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, an improved AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the Ford-class aircraft carrier and the Littoral combat ship are just some of the big-ticket items on the slate for the Pentagon with this budget.
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