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June 22, 1998

BILL, FY 1999

(Sponsors: Livingston (R), Louisiana; Packard (R), California)

This Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views on H.R. 4059, the Military Construction Appropriations Bill, FY 1999, as reported by the House Appropriations Committee. Your consideration of the Administration's views would be appreciated.

The Administration is disappointed that the Committee has chosen to increase funding above the level requested for the Military Construction Appropriations Bill, while reducing the President's request for national defense programs funded by the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill and the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.

The Committee has added $580 million to the President's request for 90 unrequested projects and for other program increases, partially offset by $130 million in reductions to requested items. The Administration urges that the unrequested funding be deleted, and funding for requested programs be restored.

Other Objectionable Features

The Administration objects to the Committee's:

  • Refusal to provide advance appropriations of $568.6 million for a number of large construction projects, especially ammunition demilitarization facilities. Advance appropriations would ensure that full funding is available to complete projects before construction begins. Without full funding, it is difficult to optimize planning, scheduling, and cost control. The Administration opposes incremental funding of these projects and urges the House to provide the advance appropriations as requested.

  • 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.