The military may be broke in 2021

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Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer

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The U.S. military is the most advanced and powerful in the world, yet it is in danger.The U.S. spends over 732 billion dollars on its military more than any other country on its military. However, that budget is in danger because President Donald Trump doesn’t want to sign off on the military budget this year.

For the past 59 years, Congress passed the military spending budget to pay the nation’s soldiers and cover expenses. Because of Trump’s recent declaration, Congress’s ability to do that is in trouble. Trump has stated that he doesn’t wish to sign off on next year’s spending budget.

Usually, the military spending bill isn’t a controversial issue.“Supporting men and women in uniform is something that Republicans and Democrats can usually find common ground (on), and it doesn’t get held up as a political tool.”  College of DuPage Political Science Professor Maureen Heffern Ponicki explained. What exactly does the president not like about the spending bill this time around? The reasons Trump has stated for not wanting to sign off on this year’s bill have to do with military bases that were named after Confederate soldiers being renamed and section 230. The issues of Confederate named military bases have been argued in the court of public opinion for years and were finally going to be resolved in the bill. 

“Our armed forces are a very diverse representation of the United States, and those Confederate leaders were supporters of slavery. When we hold that up in name we are asking, especially black men and women, to put their life on the line. And we are, at the same time, holding up this idea of slavery by keeping those names on the bases.” Heffern Ponicki said.

Since that argument was made, there was broad support from both Democrats and Republicans to change those names. However, Trump didn’t want the names changed because his base supports Confederate names staying on American bases. 

Also, there was the issue of Section 230. It provides online companies legal immunity from the content put on their platforms. This way, if someone uploads something inappropriate or harmful the company can’t be sued. 

“Both Democrats and Republicans have issues with that aspect of the law,” Heffern Ponicki said. “What I understand is that Republicans and Democrats have said, ‘Let us deal with that separately and debate that on its own merit later. Let us not use it as a political tool to hold up the defense authorization bill.’’ 

However, the president stated he disagrees with that notion and instead wishes to hold up military spending until Section 230 is removed.

This leaves the nation and the men and women in uniform wondering what will happen next? Will Trump actually veto the bill? Is there enough bipartisan support to pass the bill anyway? Or will Congress give in to the president’s demands and rework the bill to his liking? All these questions will be answered in time as the clock is running out, and people are wondering what they will do next.