WASHINGTON—As they examined the recently released White House budget, U.S. senators and representatives expressed confusion Tuesday about the $500 million that President Trump has proposed the government spend on “laser stuff” in fiscal year 2019. “While I agree with many of the president’s recommendations, like his proposed cuts to entitlement programs, I have to admit I’m somewhat baffled by the lines in this budget dedicated to ‘state-of-the-art zap-beams,’ ‘powerful ray shooters,’ and ‘high-tech glowing red dots,’” said Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), voicing concerns shared by members of Congress in both parties who sought further clarification about Trump’s plan to subsidize the development of “blue, green, blue-violet, neon yellow, and other lightning-fast colors of laser beams.” “I’ve long advocated for increased military spending, but as a Marine Corps veteran myself, I’m not convinced ‘extra-large laser cannons’ and ‘bright lights that blast you so hard it really hurts’ are what our armed services really need from us right now.” At press time, both houses of Congress reportedly agreed to the allocations after White House aides explained that any funds appropriated for “laser stuff” would be handed over in a lump sum to the nation’s defense contractors.

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