President Donald Trump said Monday that the new beefed-up defense spending bill will provide U.S. soldiers with a significant pay increase and family housing.
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“We are proudly giving our troops the biggest pay increase in a decade,” Trump said.
The bill is aimed at rebuilding the U.S. military by authorizing a total of $717 billion for military funding over the next year. More than $11 billion is allocated for military construction, including family housing.
“We will replace aging tanks, aging planes and ships with the most advanced and lethal technology ever developed,” Trump said.
The president made the remarks at the signing of the "John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019," at Fort Drum Army Base in New York. The H.R. 5515 bill was named after the longtime Arizona senator and chair of the Senate Armed Service Committee.
Trump said the authorization of the defense spending bill will boost the size of the military.
“We will increase the size and strength of our military by adding thousands of new recruits to active duty,” he said.
Trump added that a strong military requires a robust U.S. economy, which he said helps provide funding for new equipment, pay increases for soldiers and reduces the unemployment rate for veterans.
“The veterans’ unemployment rate recently reached its lowest level in nearly 20 years,” he said.