Mon, 25 Mar 2019

Trumps asks Congress for $718 billion to spend on defense

By Jay Jackson, New Mexico State News
13 Mar 2019, 16:38 GMT+10

WASHINGTON DC - The U.S. defense department has set a budget of nearly three-quarters-of-a-trillion dollars for 2020.

The Pentagon says it wants $718 billion for the fiscal year 2020, a 5% increase on the approved budget for 2019.

While the White House released the general points of the defense budget on Monday, the Pentagon released the full budget on Tuesday.

The budget has a core base of $544 billion, plus a further $164 billion dedicated for overseas contingency operations.

The Pentagon is planning a U.S. Space Force which will eat up $14 billion in establishment costs. $72 million of that has been set aside for a headquarters for the new military arm.

The defense department is also seeking $13.6 billion for a missile defense system to combat new hypersoic missiles being developed by Russia and China.

$3.6 billion has been allocated for the wall in Mexico, a pet favourite of the president. We have new money for the border in our budget to support the president's priority, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Elaine McCusker said in a news briefing on Tuesday.

Another $9 billion has been set aside for emergency funds to deal with natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

It is now up to Congress to approve or reject the budget, which has been put together by defense department under the watchful eye of the Trump administration. Congress also has the option of renegotiating its contents.

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