Defense Spending Likely to Rise

Despite opposition, recent developments signal a dramatic increase under Trump.

By Chris Fetzer and Jessica Abrahams

Dentons

Following the November 2016 elections, pro-defense Congressional members expressed optimism that a Republican-controlled Congress and White House would work together to effectuate defense spending increases that they believe are vital to our nation’s near- and long-term national security interests.

Wasting little time in this effort, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) on Jan. 16 released a defense budget white paper, the opening salvo in a push by pro-defense Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to lift existing defense spending caps.

Entitled “Restoring American Power,” the white paper recommends an increase of approximately $430 billion in defense spending projections for FYs 2018-2022, including a proposed increase of $54 billion for FY 2018 (for a total spend of $640 billion), and 4 percent annual defense budget growth from FYs 2019-2022. Sen. McCain posits that this level of year-over-year growth is required to sustain the military buildup that he believes to be necessary.

A longtime advocate for defense acquisition reform and innovation, Sen. McCain recommends continued support within the Department of Defense for “alternative acquisition pathways to improve and accelerate (the DoD’s) ability to acquire new commercial technologies and adapt them for military use.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the February 20, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.