While House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been a champion for military spending, and frequently cited the benefits the recent two-year budget agreement would provide the Pentagon in garnering support for the deal from skeptical Republicans in February, it’s not clear that his retirement at the end of the current session will significantly affect congressional backing for the armed forces. Both Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who are seen as Ryan’s most likely replacements, are expected to continue his unwavering advocacy for a strong defense.
Of course, if control of the House flips following the mid-term elections, the makeup of the GOP leadership will not be nearly as important. Democrats have supported increasing defense spending in recent years, but only if domestic programs achieve similar gains, reported Defense News.