President Donald Trump has reportedly told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to prepare a $750 billion budget proposal for 2020. U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year. The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion request that the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October. In August, Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill.
Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, told his Cabinet earlier this year to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 percent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared. This request comes just months after Trump asked every major cabinet agency to submit proposals cutting their budget by 5% next year, according to The Washington Post. Trump said he wanted to see the defense budget decrease by 2%, from $716 billion to $700 billion.
The larger number tracks with what some experts, including a congressionally appointed panel, have said should be a yearly 3 to 5% increase to the defense budget, which includes money for the military as well as the nuclear weapons elements of the Department of Energy.
The meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit. Defense officials were planning on a $733 billion budget for 2020 prior to the proposed cuts