President Trump's much-vaunted plan to implement "one of the greatest military buildups in American history" to make the military "bigger and better and stronger than ever before" looks increasingly unlikely, Politico reports. Trump has called for a $30 billion defense spending increase for 2017 and a $54 billion bump for 2018, but as congressional budget negotiations continue and a government shutdown looms, he may not get what he wants.
Defense contractors, eager for fresh largesse, are "certainly frustrated that the initial hopefulness has not borne out, or at least not borne out yet," Doug Berenson of Avascent, a defense consulting firm, told Politico. "A lot of people in the industry, myself included, sort of allowed ourselves to get ahead of ourselves in the first weeks following the election without fully realizing the budget politics that have been with us for the last five or six years are not completely gone."
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday addressed his thoughts on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, which has been a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as Republican lawmakers grapple with forming a concrete alternative to President Obama's signature health-care law. Trump promised that "repeal and replace" of the Affordable Care Act would occur "essentially simultaneously," positing that a replacement proposal would be submitted "probably the same day" as legislation to repeal the law, if not within the "same hour."
Trump, speaking at his first news conference since July, repeated his oft-stated opinion that ObamaCare is a "complete and total disaster," and said he predicted 2017 would be a "catastrophic" year for the law. The belief that ObamaCare is "imploding" on its own, however, caused Trump to consider doing nothing about the law because from a "political standpoint," he said, the Democrats own its failure. "We're doing them a tremendous service," Trump said, referring to Republicans' promises to replace the law, thus assuming responsibility for the country's health care.
Politico's Jake Sherman noted that Trump's plan to "simultaneously" repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may implicitly reveal a willingness to push back the actual date of repeal. While Trump previously promised to repeal ObamaCare on "day one" — as in, next Friday, Jan. 20, when he is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States — Sherman noted that does not logistically gel with his vow to submit a replacement simultaneously:
TRUMP saying repeal/replace will be same day, perhaps same hour. That means repeal will probably be in a few months.