Armed Services chief lays out risky strategy for budget hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is proposing a boost in the defense budget by billions of dollars to halt what the GOP says is a severe problem in the military’s combat readiness.

Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry’s annual defense policy bill, to be released Monday afternoon, shifts $18 billion from the account that finances ongoing war operations to pay for additional ships, jet fighters, helicopters and more.

To make up for the shortfall in war spending, the congressman is counting on President Barack Obama’s successor to submit a supplemental budget to Congress in early 2017.

Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says Thornberry’s bid is a gamble because fiscal conservatives in the congressman’s own party may refuse to go along.

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