US President Donald Trump has promised a “historic” increase in the Pentagon budget to rebuild America’s “depleted military.”
“This budget follows through on my promise on keeping Americans safe,” Trump said Monday during a meeting with dozens of state governors at the White House.
The Republican president doubled down on his campaign mantra that “we never win — we never win wars” to underscore the need for the increase in the Pentagon budget.
“We have a hornet’s nest. It’s a mess,” he told the governors.
The comments came a day before Trump is set to address a joint session of Congress to share some details about his legislative agenda before the White House releases its summary budget proposal in March.
A White House budget official said that Trump plans to increase military spending by $54 billion and slash the same amount from non-military spending.
“Most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result,” the official told reporters.
The president will let the Department of Defense decide how to spend the extra money, the official added.
Trump is expected to direct federal agencies on Monday to put together the outlines of a budget blueprint that will include deep cuts in domestic spending and foreign aid in order to pay for the increased military budget.
The president, however, wants the budget proposal to preserve pensions and health insurance for the elderly in line with his campaign promises.
Trump also told the governors that he would talk about his plans for the nation’s infrastructure in his speech to Congress on Tuesday. “We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big,” he said.
In a wide-ranging speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, Trump promised “the greatest military build-up in American history.”
The US president said Washington has “spent trillions of dollars overseas, while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay.”
“We will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything, bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” he said. “And hopefully, we’ll never have to use it, but nobody’s going to mess with us.”
Trump has also said he wants to expand the US nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack.”