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Louisiana bases could benefit from President Trump's military plans

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LAFAYETTE -

President Trump plans to buff up the United States military at home and abroad. To do that, he’s asking Congress to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion.

“America has always been the country that boldly leads the world into the future and my budget will ensure that we continue to do exactly that,” President Trump said to a crowd of Navy sailors in Newport News. .

Ralph Abraham, a representative from Monroe who sits on the Armed Services Committee, believes Louisiana would be among the states to benefit from increased military spending.

“It’s either going to go toward aircraft at Barksdale or Belle Chasse. It’s going to go towards some armored unit at Fort Polk,” Abraham said in an interview on Thursday. “Every aspect that Louisiana has, it will touch.”

Abraham said he supports the president's $54 billion request for the coming fiscal year, suggesting the amount should be higher.

Congress is still working to fund defense spending for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year The House in March approved a $578 billion defense spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year, which is added to about $6 billion in stopgap cash appropriated to overseas military efforts.

That money would include $3 billion for ship and aircraft, $1.6 billion to hire more military personnel and another $285 million to fund additional pay raises, but the Senate still needs to approve the bill.

"For the first time in several years military personnel are going to get a pay raise," Abraham suggested. "They deserve more than we can give them, but they definitely deserve it."

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