President Donald Trump on Friday signed a two-bill spending package that fully funds the Pentagon in fiscal 2019, lifting defense officials from the challenge of coping with short-term spending measures for the first time in 10 years. The legislation’s enactment marks a rare achievement, especially after the president one week earlier signed a three-bill package funding the department’s military construction programs in FY 2019. The defense spending bill provides $674.4 billion in discretionary budget authority and represents a $17 billion increase in DOD’s base budget funding over the FY 2018 allocation. It fully funds the administration’s requested 16,400 end-strength increase this year, including boosting active forces by 15,600 personnel, reports Military Times. … While its long-term fate remains uncertain, an immigration program which has provided a significant source of financing for base redevelopment projects has been extended through Dec. 7. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor program grants 10,000 visas annually to foreigners and their families who have invested $1 million in projects in the United States that create at least 10 jobs, or who have invested $500,000 if the money supports areas of high unemployment. Numerous questions have been raised about the program, though, and lawmakers from both parties have proposed terminating it, reports CQ.
DOD photo by Michael Strasser