Defense spending in fiscal 2018 and 2019 would reach levels embraced by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as well as the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, under the bipartisan budget deal announced by Senate leaders Wednesday. The agreement would raise the statutory caps on defense spending by $80 billion in FY 2018 and $85 billion the following year, pushing DOD’s base budget well past the $600 billion mark. When funds allocated to the department’s overseas contingency operations account, which are not subject to the Budget Control Act caps, are included, total defense spending is expected to be $700 billion in FY 2018 and $716 billion in FY 2019, reported Defense News.
The Senate agreement would roughly match the spending called for in the FY 2018 defense authorization bill, while the topline figure for FY 2019 would match the Trump administration’s new budget request scheduled to be released next week. Last week Mattis told reporters he would be “very happy with” funding at those levels, reported CQ. During testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday, he called for those exact figures. And on Wednesday, Mattis voiced support for the deal during remarks at the White House made right after the Senate agreement was announced.
In a joint statement, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services committees, praised the funding levels in Wednesday’s agreement as well.