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Opinion: They Voted for Caps. Now They Want More Defense Spending
Sequestration was supposed to be so simple, but all it did was make a giant mess for defense

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry is among the many lawmakers who voted for sequestration in the form of the Budget Control Act of 2011 but who now call for hikes in defense spending. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address asked Congress to lift the “sequester cap” on defense spending. That same week, a bipartisan majority in the House, in a symbolic but important act, voted to reaffirm a cap-busting defense level for fiscal 2018. So the expectation is that defense spending will increase this year.

Leave aside for a moment the increasingly embarrassing spectacle of a Congress unable to carry out one of its most basic constitutional tasks — appropriating money to fund the government — and consider what comes next. If the fiscal 2018 defense bill ever becomes law, how will the additional money be spent?