Congress votes $77 billion increase in Defense Dept Budget
In April 2017, Works in Progress reported on Trump’s proposal to increase the annual Defense Budget from $582.7 to $639 billion. The bill passed in December of 2017, increasing the budget by $53.9 billion.
This past June, the Senate voted to raise the annual Defense Budget again — to $716 billion, a $77 billion increase. Democrats readily joined the Republicans in voting aye : 139 in the House and all but 10 in the Senate. Both Washington Senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, voted yes. (The two Oregon Senators were among the no votes.) Of our 10-member House delegation, only Pramila Jayapal voted no. Democrats who accuse Trump of being an authoritarian who believes himself above the law keep voting to give him more money and power for war, surveillance, nuclear weapons, new military technology, and bloat generally.
As noted by one analyst, if the budget had simply stayed the same as 2017, Congress could have funded public college for every student in the US and had $12 billion left over.
Historic cuts to non-defense departments are on the table. The administration is proposing to decrease funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by one-fourth; by nearly a third for the State Department, 14% for Housing and Urban Development, and 5% for education. Other programs likely to lose significant funding are programs like HeadStart, FBI law enforcement, and research programs for the National Health Institute and National Science Foundation.