Thornberry sees entitlement reforms as opportunity to boost military
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday that the Republican effort to reform entitlement programs could create an opportunity for higher military spending as lawmakers hash out their first budget under President Donald Trump.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said the effort by House Republicans under Speaker Paul Ryan to cut the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and reform the tax code could put large swaths of federal funding “in play” and potentially open up more money for defense spending.
“So, there’s some big moving pieces we have not had before,” he said.
Thornberry and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have proposed a $640-billion base defense budget for 2018 – up from the $543-billion base budget planned for this year. Trump has also made it part of his policy to rebuild the forces and last month asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to review readiness and put together a budget plan.
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