U.S.President Donald J. Trump signed the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act into law during a White House ceremony Dec. 12.
The act calls for $626 billion for the department’s base budget and another $66 billion for operations. The act includes a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel.
The act authorizes the department to spend money but the appropriations bill–which actually provides the funds–is still in Congress.
“This historic legislation demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our men and women in uniform–the greatest fighting force in the history of the world–and we’re making it a lot better than even that,” Trump said before signing the bill.
The president said the legislation “represents a momentous step toward rebuilding our military and securing the future for our children.”
Trump added, “In recent years, our military has undergone a series of deep budget cuts that have severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters. History teaches us that when you weaken your defenses, you invite aggression.”
The president recalled George Washington’s belief, that to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.
“With the signing of this defense bill, we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might,” Trump said. “This legislation will enhance our readiness … and modernize our forces and help provide our service members with the tools that they need to fight and to win.”