This Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views on
H.R. 2016, the Military Construction Appropriations Bill, FY 1998, as reported
by the House Appropriations Committee. The Administration objects to the
reallocation of national defense funds from Department of Energy programs to
Department of Defense programs, including military construction programs, an
action that we believe is an unacceptable deviation from a clear term of the
Bipartisan Budget Agreement. Your consideration of the Administration's view
would be appreciated.
Unrequested Programs Added by the Committee
The Committee has added $886 million to the President's request, for 94
specific, unrequested projects and other programs, partially offset by $86
million in reductions to requested programs and other adjustments. Although
much of the unrequested funding is for items that are consistent with DOD's
long-range military construction plans, almost $200 million would be used for
low priority items that are not in DOD's long-range plans. It is particularly
unfortunate that funding for the projects that are not in DOD's long-range
plans has been added at the expense of higher priority programs in the
President's request. The Administration believes that unrequested funding
should be deleted, and funding for requested programs should be restored.
Other Objectionable Features
The Administration objects to the Committee's:
- Appropriation of only $20 million of the $63 million requested for
construction of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The
Administration opposes incremental funding of this project and urges the
Committee to provide the full amount of the request.
- Failure to include requested authority that would enable the Secretary of
Defense to transfer appropriations within the appropriation accounts in the
Military Construction Appropriations Act. Similar transfer authority in
Defense Appropriations Acts has been used with great success to meet unplanned
requirements, without reducing the opportunity for congressional oversight.
- Reduction of $21 million from the $30 million request for Defense-wide
planning and design. This reduction would delay construction of many of the
strategic fuel storage projects that are required to meet operating plans.