President Donald Trump "promised exactly the right thing" during his campaign when he said he'd rebuild the nation's military, Rep. Mac Thornberry said Monday, but he's concerned that Trump's budget plan won't give the armed forces what they need.
"Essentially what we've got is the Obama budget, plus about 3 percent," the Texas Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" anchor Bill Hemmer. "Remember, until just a few weeks ago, there was only one Trump-appointed, Trump-confirmed person in the Department of Defense, the secretary. So this has been slow getting people in place."
Thornberry, in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, said that Trump's budget "may stop the bleeding, but it won't do much to help the military to get well."
In his article, Thornberry also called for the Pentagon to get "better value for the money it spends."
"Outdated acquisition systems result in wasted dollars and delays in getting our troops the weapons and equipment they need," he wrote. "That is why defense reform has been, and will continue to be, such a high priority for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees."
However, fixing the military's equipment won't wait until the budget is balanced, and the military personnel "need those tools now," he also wrote.
Thornberry had also pointed out in the article that just three of the Army's 58 combat teams are ready to fight, and the Air Force and Navy are smaller than ever. On Monday, he told Hemmer that it "is that bad, and in classified sessions, it is somewhat worse."
"The truth is, both parties, and both the executive and legislative branches bear responsibility for this," Thornberry told Hemmer. "My key point is this is the time to turn it around. [For] 2018, the budget we're working on now, this is the time to fix our planes and ships and take care of our people and turn this around. If we don't do it now, it will be hard to see when it does happen."
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