- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence marked the Trump administration’s 100th day Saturday by christening a new Virginia-class fast attack submarine and calling on Congress to meet President Trump’s request for an extra $30 billion for defense in a short-term spending bill.

Mr. Pence christened the U.S.S. Indiana in a ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia, with an audience of lawmakers, shipyard workers and Navy personnel.

“Just next week, with President Trump’s leadership, and the strong support of the members of Congress gathered here today, Congress will pass a spending bill with long-overdue investments in our military readiness even before this fiscal year ends,” Mr. Pence said. “That’s what leadership looks like.”

Mr. Trump is requesting the $30-billion increase for defense in the spending bill being negotiated in Congress to complete the current fiscal year. Negotiators are expected to finish work on that measure next week, amid reports that lawmakers are considering a $15-billion increase for the Pentagon.

The administration also has proposed boosting defense spending by about 10 percent in fiscal 2018, calling it the largest military buildup since the Reagan administration.

The vice president said the military buildup is one of Mr. Trump’s main priorities.

“In just his first 100 days in office, President Trump has already taken decisive action to end an era of budget cuts to America’s military and to America’s security,” Mr. Pence said. “At a time of mounting threats across the globe, President Trump has made it clear America’s national security is this president’s highest priority now and always.”

Mr. Pence said the administration “will make the strongest fighting force in the world stronger still.

“As history attests, when America is strong, the world is safe. And the U.S.S. Indiana will bear witness to this truth,” he said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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