A free and prosperous society, whether at war or peace, needs a strong military to guarantee that freedom for subsequent generations. At this point, President Trump has done more to secure the freedom of Americans in this past year than the previous administration did in eight.
Recently, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill for fiscal 2018 with the aim of bolstering our depleted military forces with even more troops, aircraft, and ships than what Trump originally requested, according to the Washington Examiner.
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate easily by an 89-8 vote despite three days of negotiations, and is now headed to the House where the finer details will be finalized.
Proponents of the bill argued that these measures were sorely needed to shore up what the military felt was a readiness crisis, as evidenced by mishaps and mistakes over the past few months that cost more than 60 lives.
“My friends, for too long our nation has asked our men and women in uniform to do too much with far too little,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), one of the bills many supporters.
As a result, the military will be getting an upgrade to their arsenal, including more Navy ships, fighter jets, maritime surveillance aircraft, and ground troops. Also, $8.5 billion has been allocated to missile defense against the North Korean threat, as well as up to 28 new interceptors in Alaska.
The $700 billion legislation was even more than what Trump initially requested, which was originally proposed at $639 billion. Knowing how frugal and well managed Trump has been in his personal business affairs–as well as how he has run his administration over the past year–it’s sure to be well spent.
Among the most interesting new developments will be the creation of a separate command to oversee space operations within the Air Force, aptly named the Air Force Space Corps. Some, however, are proposing an amendment to the bill opposing the move, believing this new division will just create needless bureaucracy.
Additionally, one of those who voted against the defense bill was Bob Corker (R-TN), a member of the Senate Budget Committee. He reasoned that the bill “exceeds the current budget caps by nearly $83 billion.” Many more fiscally frugal conservatives would find his point reasonable, as America just passed the $20 trillion mark in gross debt after providing funding relief to areas affected by the recent hurricanes.
Aside from minor disagreements, it was a reassuring victory for the President to see this bill pass with relatively few issues, getting even more than what he first asked. It’s a stark contrast to how the Senate handled themselves over the healthcare reform bill, which floundered as the GOP failed to keep the party in unison with their original vision.
Several amendments were excluded from the bill. An amendment that would have slowed Trump’s ban on transgenders serving in the military didn’t make it through, and a “Buy America” provision wasn’t included in the final defense bill.
Regardless, this bill was a victory for the Trump administration, as well as for the nation, ensuring the US military remains strong for years to come.