WASHINGTON — Rising Democratic opposition threatened the House’s 2016 defense budget Wednesday, just a week after Defense Secretary Ash Carter called it a “road to nowhere.”
The bill recently passed by an overwhelming majority in the GOP-controlled Armed Services Committee, but a measure to increase military spending — widely derided as a gimmick — ran headlong into partisan opposition in advance of a full chamber vote this week.
A growing number of Dems oppose the $617-billion National Defense Authorization Act because it allows lawmakers across the aisle to sidestep mandatory caps on defense spending by tapping a $94 billion emergency war fund. Meanwhile, caps on the rest of the federal budget, including domestic spending championed by the Democrats, are set to kick in this fall.
“If we do not have a strong economy, and build a solid foundation for future generations, then we cannot ensure our national security in the long term,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the Armed Services ranking member, said in a statement arguing against the domestic caps.