The Trump administration is expected to raise its defense spending target to $716 billion for the 2019 budget, a significant increase from the prior year, the Washington Post reported Friday.
The budget, expected to be unveiled next month, would mark an increase of more than 7 percent over the defense spending allotment from the 2018 budget — which still has not passed through Congress.
The Post reported that Defense Secretary James Mattis argued in favor of the larger defense budget, despite reservations from budget director Mick Mulvaney that the spending increase would inflate the deficit. Mulvaney had suggested that a boost in defense spending should be accompanied by cuts to other government programs.
The U.S. spent about $634 billion on defense in 2017, the Post reported. The yet-to-be-released 2019 budget would represent an increase of 13 percent over the 2017 figure.