McCain opposes delaying defense budget for Trump
WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chastised Congress on Thursday for considering a short-term spending measure that would put off passing an already overdue defense budget until April to give President-elect Donald Trump an opportunity to help craft the legislation.
McCain, in another striking departure from the incoming Republican president, said holding defense funding to last year’s levels for Trump, who has proposed a major buildup of forces, would harm the military’s ability to train troops and perform needed equipment maintenance.
On Tuesday, McCain also warned Trump not to pursue a reset in relations with Russia. The veteran senator, who will return as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee next year, won re-election after tangling publicly with the president-elect on the campaign trail when Trump questioned whether McCain is a war hero.
Republican House lawmakers on Thursday met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Capitol Hill and signaled they will pursue another stop-gap spending measure to fund the federal government through the end of March, meaning military funding will maintain at current levels and the Trump administration will have about two months for input. Congress failed to pass annual defense authorization and spending bills by the end of the fiscal year in September and its current short-term spending legislation expires Dec. 9.
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