House Republicans make case for Trump defense plan
WASHINGTON — Hours ahead of the final presidential debate, a dozen House Republicans released an open letter of support Wednesday for Donald Trump’s defense plans and claimed that President Barack Obama’s administration has thrust reckless budget cuts on the military.
The lawmakers, who sit on committees for armed services, foreign affairs and homeland security, pointed to cuts to commissaries and years of low troop pay raises. They blame Obama for spending cuts – though Congress approved a decade’s worth of defense spending caps – and said Trump’s plan to dramatically increase the number of troops and ships is “serious and sober” thinking.
The GOP nominee’s plan calls for 74 more Navy ships and 50,000 more soldiers, as well as other major increases. The plan could require at least $650 billion over the coming years and is based on Congress repealing five more years of spending cuts called sequestration, which remains a long shot with a bitterly divided House and Senate.
“Such growth phased within budget reality represents the kind of targeted investment our services need today and is grounded in the kind of serious and sober strategic thinking our country needs in these perilous times by a peace through strength policy,” according to the letter, which included support from 23 retired lawmakers and military leaders.