The members of the United States military will receive their largest pay raise in nine years. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the military a budget of more than $700 billion.
Members of the armed forces will each receive a 2.6 percent raise in their annual pay. Those with high levels of experience or in-demand skills will be receiving bonuses on top of that.
This new package also adds 15,600 active troops to the four major branches of the military, as well as the Air Guard and the Naval and Air Reserves.
In addition to increasing the number of military members and their pay, the package will provide our armed forces with new tools and weapons.
In total, $36.3 billion will go toward rebuilding naval ships, $41.2 billion will go toward Army equipment and infrastructure, and $40.8 billion will go toward aviation, including 77 new F-35 fighter jets.George Frey/Getty Images
According to the House Armed Services Committee, this package “makes key investments in other critical military capabilities to confront aggression and address threats around the world, including threats from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.”
The new defense package also prevents Chinese businesses from working with the U.S. government because companies like ZTE and Huawei used “malicious technology.”
Beyond the increased pay and refined equipment for our troops, President Donald Trump will finally be able to put it all on display in his long-awaited military parade.
The president’s military parade was endorsed by the Senate and House committees as long as parade participation does not limit military readiness.
Trump has been hoping for a parade to honor our armed forces since as early as 2011:
NYC should hold a parade for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2011
Not everyone is as excited about the military parade as Trump, however. CNN reported the cost of the parade would be around $12 million.
Hey, Congress: While you’re in session, could you take a few minutes and pass legislation prohibiting the expenditure of any appropriated funds for Trump’s planned military parade? Thanks.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 19, 2018
Although the defense package has its critics, the bill passed the House with an overwhelming majority, with 359 voting in favor and only 54 opposing.