Kirsters Baish | Recently we saw Republican representatives and Republican senators gathering together in West Virginia for a retreat in order to set the agenda for the coming year. They intended to strategize about the midterm elections while on their retreat. They were joined by Defense Secretary James Mattis in addition to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday in a very rare appearance.
The Hill reported that James Mattis explained to the republican lawmakers that he would personally be asking for around $716 billion in the budget for 2019 for the defense budget. This is $50 billion more than was asked for in the 2018 budget.
Mattis explained, “I’m not subtle. I need to make the military more lethal. Some people think I’m supposed to be an equal-opportunity employer.” People are calling the second part of his statement as a jab at the liberals of America who have demanded fiscal parity between military and domestic spending.
Mattis then insisted that he had to increase the funding in order to restructure the readiness of the United States ranks and capabilities. He also has intentions of realigning the military with new National Defense Strategies which move some of the focus away from worldwide terrorism. Instead, he is moving the focus back towards traditional powerful rivals such as China and Russia.
Mattis explained that the need for Congress to go back to real annual budgets rather than short-term measures including continuing resolutions that we have seen for the better part of ten years.
Mattis bluntly stated, “I cannot maintain the U.S. military on CRs.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Mattis had another message to any and all of the United States’ enemies and rivals. He warned anyone that might even be considering testing our resolve in our defense around the globe, “Take us on and it will be your worst day and your longest day.”
It was also explained during the retreat that James Mattis and Rex Tillerson have a good relationship when it comes to work. The former general actually came up with a new nickname for Tillerson, “Saint Rex of Texas.”
The Washington Examiner explained that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas had stated that Mattis and Tillerson spent around half and hour each speaking to the republicans who came for the event about what was happening in the world and what must be done in order to accomplish their goals.
Thornberry stated, “The secretaries were very clear in encouraging Congress to resolve the budget issues and to end continuing resolutions so they can manage their departments and, more importantly, the world knows we are functioning and can do whatever needs to be done to protect the national security of the United States. We lost 23 service members to hostile actions in 2017. We lost four times more than that to training related accidents. This budget dysfunction has a human cost and our military is bearing the brunt of it.”
He went on to explain that both secretaries had been clear and direct about “the imperative of getting a budget agreement in place so that we can end this series of Mrs and threats of a shutdown.” He also reminded us that the most recent short-term CR expires next week, on February 8. He also reminded republicans that Democrats are wanting to tie in a DACA fix for illegal aliens to the totally unrelated budget war.
This kind of crap might have worked during the Obama administration, but now that President Trump is in charge, things are different.