Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: June 9, 2016
Without the increase, the Army will continue with plans to cut 15,000 soldiers and all servicemembers will receive a 1.6-percent pay raise, which will continue years of increases that fall below private sector wage growth.WASHINGTON — The Senate backed away Thursday from breaking federal spending limits when it rejected a bid to add $18 billion to the military budget.
The spending hike, backed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was blocked by only a few votes and would have reversed troop drawdowns, bumped up pay raises, and bought more fighter jets, ships and helicopters.
McCain and other defense hawks in the Senate argued the military is stretched dangerously thin after 15 years of war. But billions of dollars in new spending would have violated military spending caps that have tied up the budget since 2011, when they were first pushed into law by a wave of Tea Party conservatives.
“Our military commanders have warned us we risk sending Americans into a conflict for which they are not prepared,” McCain said. “This is the reality our soldiers, airmen and Marines are facing. I say it doesn’t have to be this way.”
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