House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed Monday that Republicans won out over Democrats with a hike in defense spending included in a new comprehensive budget deal.
The sprawling $1 trillion-plus budget agreement unveiled earlier in the day puts total defense spending at $25 billion above current levels, according to House appropriations officials. That includes a $15 billion boost for the military that was part of a March supplemental request by President Trump and will shore up training and equipment, especially for troops deployed to war zones.
The $15 billion was only half of the $30 billion that President Trump had requested for this year as a first step toward rebuilding what he has called a depleted military. But Ryan said the increase finally broke years of Democratic demands that any additional money for defense be matched with equal increases for non-defense programs.
“That harmful precedent ends this week — a significant departure from the Obama years, and a big win for the new administration,” Ryan said in a statement.
The additional spending will help in the war effort against the Islamic State and needed spare parts for the Air Force and Marine Corps, which have been forced to cannibalize museum exhibits for parts to keep aircraft flying, Ryan said.
And it could all be done without giving in to the Democrats, he said. The federal spending bill must still be approved by Congress and signed by the president.
“Thanks to this bill, ensuring our troops have the tools they need to complete their missions will no longer come at the expense of more wasteful Washington spending,” Ryan said.