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 Senate Appropriations Committee. Your consideration of the
Administration's views would be appreciated.
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 our understanding of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.
Unrequested Programs Added by the Committee
The Committee has added $955 million to the President's request, for 103
specific unrequested projects and other programs, partially offset by $155
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, $116 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 $36 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 Senate
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 $11 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.