President Donald Trump has called for an end to the Defense spending sequester during a speech to the US Air Force at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
“I’m calling on Congress to end the defense sequester once and for all,” Trump said Friday afternoon, during a 17-minute address on the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.
“The servicemen and women who defend our nation with their lives deserve the predictable and consistent funding that will help them win quickly and win decisively.”
New equipment the US is ordering “by the billions” will be better than anything in the world, Trump said. “There’s nobody even close.”
“Our armed forces have endured continuous combat for the past 26 years, yet despite this, the number of airmen on active duty has dropped by one-third since the 1990s and we’ve cut more than half of our fighter squadrons. That is why I am calling on Congress to end the defense sequester once and for all and to give our military the tools, training, equipment, and resources that our brave men and women in uniform so richly deserve.”
“Each of you is fulfilling your duty to America, and now government must fulfill its duty to you.”
“We will stop delaying needed investments in our readiness and we will renew our commitment to the patriots who keep America safe.”
A White House release, “Making Our Military Strong Again,” outlines the policy to end the sequester.
“Our military needs every asset at its disposal to defend America. We cannot allow other nations to surpass our military capability. The Trump Administration will pursue the highest level of military readiness,” it reads.
As part of an effort to prevent US debt from spiraling out of control, President Barack Obama set mandated automatic spending limits in motion in 2012, after Congress failed to pass a plan to reduce deficits as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Despite that plan, US debt kept rising through Obama’s second term and broke the $20 trillion mark last week. Congress intended to limit spending by imposing a debt ceiling, but has continued to raise it over the years.
Trump recently negotiated a temporary suspension of the debt ceiling until December, and has expressed interest in doing away with it.