Trump reverses course, tells Pentagon to boost budget request to $750 billion
Reversing his pledge to cut defense funding by 5% to $700 billion for fiscal year 2020, Trump has requested a $750 billion budget proposal from SecDef Mattis. Military officials had been fighting vigorously against the cut as failing to meet their “strategy-driven” request of $733 billion. One source indicated that “there was a discussion with POTUS about how to get $733 billion, and POTUS suggested that if the position is $733 billion, then we should submit a budget at $750 billion as a negotiating tactic…that said the president changes his mind constantly.” While the difference as a part of the whole does not appear significant, it is a figure much larger than the entire defense budget of most countries. The figure includes all aspects of spending for the national defense, which includes items like the Pentagon and the Department of Energy’s spending towards the U.S. nuclear program. The actual spending figure will likely change once it becomes a topic of political contention in Congress.