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Trump signs $700 billion defense budget into law

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Staff Writer | Tuesday December 12, 2017 5:47PM ET
Trump defense budget
America   2018 National Defense Authorization Act

President Donald Trump signed into law the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion defense budget that seeks to increase military spending and operational capabilities.

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The bill includes measures like the establishment of a U.S. Space Corps within the Air Force by 2019, a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, special pay for situations like combat and hazardous duty and bonuses for re-enlistment contracts.

The act also enables the Pentagon to procure 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets and 14 Navy ships from defense contractor Huntington Ingalls, in addition to authorizing $12.3 billion for missile defense.

Additionally, the act calls for reform of the Defense Department's acquisition process and requires service contracts be submitted through the Pentagon's budget process in order to determine actual needs and spending patterns.

"In recent years, our military has undergone a series of deep budget cuts that have severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters," Trump said.

He was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph F. Dunford, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry and other military officials and senior Cabinet members.


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