WASHINGTON — Three hawkish US senators intend to force floor votes on amendments aimed at increasing Pentagon spending.
The votes are slated to occur Thursday during what is being billed as a marathon voting session on amendments to a Republican-crafted 2016 budget resolution that could end in the early hours of Friday. The measure already contains a Budget Committee-approved $38 billion boost to the Pentagon's war account.
Defense hawks want to lock in those funds, and potentially secure even more budgetary authority for the Defense Department.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., plans to introduce an amendment that would waive a "point of order" still in the committee's resolution that would keep the war fund at $58 billion, according to reports. Without the McCain amendment, it would take 60 votes to approach the $89 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding level the panel approved.
Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and wave-making freshman Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas are pushing an amendment to boost military spending.
The Senate Budget Committee crafted its bill in line with existing spending caps.
Rubio says additional funding is needed for military modernization programs.
"If we cut back on that now, in 10 years a future commander in chief will be faced with a threat to our national security, and we will not have the latest, greatest technology on the planet to address it," Rubio said.