AS YOU WISH, SO IT SHALL BE: “The president proposes, Congress disposes,” is a saying popular on Capitol Hill. As we pore over President Trump’s $4.4 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2019, including $716 billion for defense and national security, it’s important to keep in mind that the president’s budget request is merely a wish list, an outline of the president’s priorities, and is sent to Congress with the hope that it will be taken into account as lawmakers do the real budget-making.
In the past, Congress has shown a penchant for adding some programs the Pentagon doesn’t want, while trimming in areas it says are risking readiness. This year is different, largely because of the president’s pledge to rebuild the “depleted” military, and the historic bipartisan budget agreement that has already pre-approved the $716 billion top line for next year, (a requested spending level that the Pentagon conveniently shared with Congress so it could be factored into the deal.)
GOOD TIMES: The result is a budget plan, that while no doubt will be tweaked on the Hill, and has the Pentagon and all the military services basking in the glow of wish fulfilment.