U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the White House’s proposed defense budget will not be sufficient to rebuild the military and he offered an alternative plan to increase American preparedness for war.
“The fiscal year 2018 defense topline proposed today of $603 billion will not be sufficient to rebuild the military,” said McCain. “Such a budget does not represent a 10 percent increase as previously described by the White House, but amounts to a mere 3 percent over President Obama’s defense plan, which has left our military underfunded, undersized and unready to meet the threats of today and tomorrow.”
“Informed by testimony by our military commanders and years of rigorous oversight of the Department of Defense and our Armed Forces, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry and I agree a defense budget of $640 billion in fiscal year 2018 and sustained increases for years to come are needed to rebuild our military, restore military readiness, and modernize our forces for the realities of 21st century warfare,” said McCain.
“Our uniformed military leaders have testified that years of budget cuts have placed the lives of military service members at greater risk,” said McCain. “Today, two-thirds of Navy F-18s can’t fly; Marine Corps pilots are flying less hours per month than their Russian and Chinese counterparts; Air Force maintainers are stealing parts from museum pieces to keep their planes in the air; and just two of 60 Army brigade combat teams are at the highest level of readiness.”
“At a time when we confront the most diverse and complex array of global challenges since the end of World War II, we must ensure our troops have the support, training and resources they need to accomplish difficult missions around the world,” said McCain.
“It is clear that this budget proposed today cannot pass the Senate,” said McCain. “Moving forward, it is imperative that we work together to reach a bipartisan agreement that provides sufficient funds to rebuild the military.”
“Congress must also act on the fiscal year 2017 budget amendment request and defense appropriations bill as soon as possible, and end the paralyzing effects of continuing resolutions on the Department of Defense,” said McCain. “Failure to do so will only lead to more political dysfunction that has inflicted such harm on our men and women in uniform over the past six years.”
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