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Mattis telegraphs pursuit of 5 percent budget growth beginning in FY-19

Kate Blakeley, a budget analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said partisan politics were likely to throw a wrench in Mattis' plans for budget growth. "In this political environment, the Pentagon should brace for another four years of continuing resolutions and funding delays, with only limited topline increases," she said. Blakeley said a 3 percent to 5 percent growth rate would mean DOD would have a base budget somewhere between $700 billion and $770 billion by FY-22, or 15 percent to 30 percent bigger than the FY-18 request. "The only way that kind of defense budget growth has a prayer of happening is if Sec. Mattis convinces President Trump and the rest of the administration that national security spending must be considered on its own merits, not paid for by ever-deeper cuts to other government efforts," she said.

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