GOP leaders in House back Trump's Space Force

August 16, 2018 - 12:04 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two House Republican leaders are backing President Donald Trump's proposed Space Force.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told The Associated Press "it's a smart way" to address growing investments by China and Russia in space.

GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, also backs Trump's plan, an aide said.

The Space Force would be the first new branch of the military since the creation of the Air Force in 1947.

Congress would need to fund it, which is expected to cost billions. A budget is being prepared for the coming fiscal year. It's not clear it would win support.

Defense Secretary James Mattis was initially reluctant to create a new military service but now is behind the president's approach.

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