Hawks Push Amendments To Boost Spending

Hawks Push Amendments To Boost Spending

WASHINGTON — Three hawkish US senators intend to force floor votes on amendments aimed at increasing Pentagon spending.

The votes are slated to occur Thursday during what is being billed as a marathon voting session on amendments to a Republican-crafted 2016 budget resolution that could end in the early hours of Friday. The measure already contains a Budget Committee-approved $38 billion boost to the Pentagon’s war account.

Defense hawks want to lock in those funds, and potentially secure even more budgetary authority for the Defense Department.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., plans to introduce an amendment that would waive a “point of order” still in the committee’s resolution that would keep the war fund at $58 billion, according to reports. Without the McCain amendment, it would take 60 votes to approach the $89 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding level the panel approved.

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and wave-making freshman Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas are pushing an amendment to boost military spending.

The Senate Budget Committee crafted its bill in line with existing spending caps.

Text of the amendment does not explicitly call for a specific level of 2016 Pentagon base and war funding. But it mentions no number smaller than $657.4 billion. A Cotton spokeswoman had not responded to an inquiry seeking clarification at time of publication.

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