Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on Congress’s passage of the bipartisan budget agreement:
“This budget deal finally makes good on our promise to provide for the men and women who so faithfully serve our nation in uniform. It lays the groundwork for appropriating the funding level authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 and provides real growth in fiscal year 2019. Now the Defense Department will have the budget certainty it needs to begin the process of rebuilding the military, restoring readiness, and modernizing our forces—all of which are required to maintain America’s military edge over our adversaries in the era of renewed great power competition outlined in the new National Defense Strategy.”
For years as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator McCain has been calling for a bipartisan budget agreement to lift the spending caps, with a defense topline based on strategy and requirements. The agreement passed today reflects the numbers Chairman McCain has long been advocating for.
In January 2017, Chairman McCain published a white paper, Restoring American Power, which assessed global threats and requirements, ultimately calling for $700 billion of defense spending for FY18. While the president’s budget request came in far below that number, Chairman McCain led the Senate Armed Services Committee in marking the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA) to support a $700 billion authorization for defense. The bill passed unanimously out of committee and overwhelmingly (89-8) on the Senate floor. The day after the Senate passed the NDAA, President Trump endorsed the $700 billion defense topline in his speech at the United Nations. He signed the NDAA into law in December.
Beyond just FY18, Chairman McCain has made repeated calls for a multi-year budget agreement to raise budget caps and ensure real, predictable growth for our military. This agreement does just that, securing $700 billion for FY18 and $716 billion for FY19.