WASHINGTON (MNS) — The Imperial Valley's congressman announced Wednesday that he is seeking to add more than $32 billion to next year's $340 billion defense budget.
Rep. Duncan Hunter said the military needs more money for ammunition, spare parts, intelligence and modernization as well as to continue the conflict in Afghanistan. He said the Navy is rapidly depleting its precision weapon supply and that only 74 percent of the military's jets are capable of performing missions.
"You can't conduct a Ronald Reagan foreign policy with a Jimmy Carter defense budget," said Hunter, R-Alpine.
Both houses of Congress have passed versions of the defense bill — each authorizing about $340 billion in spending — and negotiators including Hunter are meeting in conference to produce a compromise.
Hunter is using the meeting to lobby for an almost 10 percent increase. Lobbying for such a significant increase during the conference stage — in which only a few legislators have input — is unusual, said Christopher Hellman, an analyst at the Center for Defense Information, a nonpartisan think tank.