Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized defense spending during the Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, saying that the out-of-control budget isn’t focused enough on fighting modern threats.
Base discretionary funding is the biggest chunk of the budget. That’s all the money the U.S. military gets to buy planes and tanks, fund research, keep bases open and so forth. Laicie Heeley, a fellow with the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, said the Defense Department’s base for 2016, minus other defense-related spending, is around $522.9 billion. That’s a $26.8 billion increase from last year, she said.
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