GANGWON-DO, SOUTH KOREA – SEPTEMBER 18: F-35B fighter jets drop GBU-32 bomb during a training at the Pilsung Firing Range on September 18, 2017 in Gangwon-do, South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
Much attention has focused on a new attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy bill is being pushed without hearings or a Congressional Budget Office score that would estimate how many would lose coverage and any budget impact.
But while eyes had turned to another attack on the current structure of healthcare, one that reportedly could heavily cut healthcare funding for low-income people, something else happened. The Senate took up the $696.5 billion defense bill that the House passed in July with support of 60% of Democrats.
And the Senate passed the measure with the support of 41 out of 46 Democratic senators. That was more than 89% of the Democrats; 90%, or 48, of the Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Donald Trump is bound to sign it, adding immense pressure to deficit and budget.
Let’s review how the numbers got this high.
Obama’s budget for 2017, which runs through this month, looked for a defense budget of $582.7 billion. Donald Trump wanted an additional $54 billion, which would have been $636.7 billion. The Department of Defense actually asked for a total of $639.1 billion.
That amount would have been the single largest defense authorization in the history of the country. But apparently that wasn’t enough. The House upped the amount by another $57.4 billion. It saw Trump’s raise and called.
Remember, please, that the Department of Defense is the only federal agency that is incapable of passing a financial audit. That should be the basic level of performance that is required of organization being entrusted with that much money. Last year, the Pentagon tried to hide $125 billion in wasted spending that took place over a five-year period.