United States President Donald Trump on Monday said that he is seeking a "historic" increase in military spending of more than 9 percent. The hike sought by the president is seen as a huge rise for the strongest military power in the world.
A White House budget official on Monday said that Trump will look to boost Pentagon spending by $54 billion in his first budget proposal in the next fiscal year and cut the same amount from other non-defence spendings, which also includes a significant decrease in foreign aid.
However, the US president does not have a final say on federal spending. Trump last week, while addressing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), had said that he would aim to upgrade the military in both offensive and defensive capabilities, with a huge spending request to the Congress. Trump is set to give his nationally televised speech to Congress on Tuesday.
The Congress, although controlled by his fellow Republicans, may not necessarily follow Trump's proposal for the budget. Trump's request for a massive budget for military buildup will face harsh realities at the Capitol Hill. With the federal budget still running a large deficit, more expenditure will only add to building deficit. Negotiations over budget with lawmakers can take months to pan out.
Trump on Sunday had told state governors at the White House that his budget plan includes a "historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America."
"This is a landmark event and message to the world in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve. We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing: Win," the US president said.
Reports state that the officials who are familiar with Trump's budget proposal said that the increase in defence funding would be partly financed by deductions to the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defence programs, according to Reuters reports.
"We're going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people," Trump said.