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The proposed US defense budget could fund China’s nearly four times over

The US is increasing the defense budget by $80 billion
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
The Trumps watch an aerial show at France’s Bastille Day parade.
By Max de Haldevang
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The Senate has finally agreed on a two-year budget deal to fund the US government. It has put aside concerns (paywall) about the deficit to please both sides, with an $80-billion bump in defense spending for Republicans and a $63-billion hike on non-defense matters for Democrats.

The US already had a staggering global lead in defense outlays, spending slightly more than the next 13 countries combined. That’s been three times more than second-place China—and it soon could be nearly four.

The bill still needs to pass in the House, where it has speaker Paul Ryan’s support, but the level of spending has raised the eyebrows of some deficit hawks—particularly after the generous federal tax cuts passed at the end of 2017.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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