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Washington Insider: Florida's Defense Future Mixed


Military spending in Florida hovers around $70 billion and the Florida Defense Support Task Force is expecting that to continue, if not grow, under Commander in Chief Donald Trump

Former Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, now a paid consultant, told task force members that Trump’s campaign promises to beef up the military are being warmly received on Capitol Hill.

Military spending increases are already in the pipeline, Principi says. However, Principi also noted that Marine General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Trump’s pick for defense secretary, has been deliberately vague about base closures.

“We believe that General Mattis is keeping his powder dry. That his answer was intended not to make any headlines.”

Regardless, Principi says his sources are telling him to expect another round of base closings in fiscal year 20-21.

Republican Representative Clay Ingram of Pensacola chairs the task force, an arm of the public-private business development group, Enterprise Florida.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.