The Latest: Top Republican trims defense budget plan

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Posted: Jun 26, 2017 3:39 PM
The Latest: Top Republican trims defense budget plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the House Armed Services Committee's defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year (all times EDT):

3:15 p.m.

The Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is recommending a defense budget for 2018 that's more in line with the thinking of his GOP colleagues.

Committee aides say Rep. Mac Thornberry will release a roughly $696.5 billion blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year. That's about $8.5 billion less than Thornberry had been pushing. But it's still more than at any point during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thornberry's proposed budget will have about $631.5 billion for core Pentagon operations and another $65 billion to pay for warfighting missions. The aides were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the formal announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Thornberry told reporters last week that he would be willing to accept a lower number but only if he's assured the Pentagon will no longer be hamstrung by an unreliable budgeting process.

— Richard Lardner

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4:50 a.m.

A powerful House Republican is set to press his case for $705 billion in military spending next year.

The Armed Services Committee chairman, congressman Mac Thornberry of Texas, is pushing for a defense budget that's larger than at any point during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it's a level of spending that even a number of his GOP colleagues don't support.

Thornberry's blueprint is scheduled to be released Monday.

He says the increase is needed to repair a military that's been at almost continuous combat since 2001.

Thornberry's plan will propose $37 billion above what President Donald Trump requested for core Pentagon operations plus another $65 billion for warfighting missions.

Conservatives who dominate the House Budget Committee have agreed on a budget outline that promises $20 billion less.