4546 - Bob Stump National Defense
Authorization Act for FY 2003
(Reps. Stump (R) AZ and Skelton (D) MO)
Administration supports H.R. 4546, which funds many of the major
requirements needed to keep America secure, to transform the U.S.
defense capabilities, and to sustain the high readiness and morale
of our armed forces. The Administration commends the House Armed
Services Committee for developing comprehensive and balanced national
security legislation that strongly supports the President's FY 2003
Budget request. Consistent with the President's commitment to increasing
the quality of life for the military, the bill would, among other
things, raise military pay by up to 8.5 percent for members in certain
pay grades, and would reduce service members' average out-of-pocket
housing expenses from 11.3 percent to 7.5 percent in FY 2003. The
Administration strongly supports provisions to help our service
Administration appreciates the Committee's support for a reliable,
flexible, and robust strategic nuclear deterrent. While improving
U.S.-Russian relations enables the United States to reduce the number
of its operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads, in an
uncertain security environment we must anticipate the unexpected.
Consequently, it is vital that we implement the strategic vision
laid out in the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) by building: (1) improved
command, control, communications, intelligence, and planning capabilities;
(2) strategic defense capabilities; (3) flexible strategic strike
options with advanced conventional weapons and a responsive capability;
and (4) a responsive infrastructure. The bill's commitment to the
NPR marks an important contribution to U.S. national security.
Administration commends the Committee for including four of the
eight requested readiness and range preservation provisions, and
would strongly oppose any effort to strike or weaken them. In particular,
the provisions relating to the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory
Bird Treaty Act are narrow in scope, address only military readiness
activities (the training, testing, and operations that relate to
combat), and serve to safeguard against litigation which would thwart
the military's primary mission. By allowing the military to provide
realistic training experiences at various military installations,
these provisions are designed to save the lives of America's young
men and women by preparing them and their equipment for combat on
the first day of battle. These authorities in no way diminish the
Defense Department's commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.
addition, the Administration commends the committee for its support
of the Administration's missile defense program, which remains one
of our top priorities.
the Administration supports H.R. 4546, the bill includes a number
of provisions that are of concern, including those discussed below.
The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address
these concerns as H.R. 4546 moves through the legislative process.
War Reserve Funding
with the Administration's request, the House Budget Committee set
aside an additional $10 billion in funding for war-related items.
The House Armed Services Committee has reduced this amount to $6.3
billion by charging $3.7 billion of the Administration's base appropriations
request against the reserve and substituting unrequested programs
of the same amount into the base request. This diminishes the Departments
ability to address future contingencies. Full funding of the Contingency
War Reserve is important because war requirements are constantly
changing and the military needs flexibility to address emerging
needs as they arise. The Administration looks forward to working
with Congress to authorize the full contingency reserve so that
the DoD can address the ongoing costs associated with the war on
President has made transformation of the military a top defense
priority. The Department of Defense is conducting a comprehensive
review of capabilities and requirements to determine which weapons
system will meet the emerging threats to our national security in
the 21st Century. In order to carry out this review, the Secretary
is carefully considering the legacy systems and evaluating promising
transformational technologies. This effort will be challenging and
will require consultation and cooperation with the Congress.
with this policy, the Secretary of Defense has determined that the
Crusader is no longer relevant to the type of warfare we are likely
to face in the 21st century. The Administration will soon transmit
to Congress a budget amendment to reallocate funds originally requested
for the Crusader to alternative programs that are essential to the
acceleration and improvement of the Army's deployment of transformational
precision ground fire capabilities. The President's senior advisors
would recommend that he veto any bill which included statutory restrictions
limiting his ability to cancel this program.
Administration opposes the increases to active military end strength
contained in Section 402. The increases contained in H.R. 4546 are
not necessary to sustain the war on terrorism and support other
security requirements and would undermine efforts currently underway
to establish the most effective utilization of military resources.
Studies, to be completed by late summer, will inform decisions on
how to match resources to the areas that require unique military
skills and how to focus military manpower on the most critical missions,
while reducing operations and personnel tempo.
Administration opposes Section 641, which would phase in full concurrent
receipt of military retired pay and veterans disability compensation
for military retirees with disabilities rated at sixty percent or
higher. This provision is contrary to the long-standing principle
that no one should be able to receive concurrent retirement benefits
and disability benefits based upon the same service. All Federal
compensation systems aim for an equitable percentage of income replacement
in the case of either work-related injury or retirement.
The Administration's preliminary estimate is that Section 641 would
increase mandatory outlays by $18.5 billion from 2003 to 2012. Additionally,
this provision would contravene longstanding law that DOD pays the
accrual costs for all military retirement benefits (for post-1984
military service) and transfer those costs to the Treasury Department.
The Administration also opposes any future expansion of the provision
of Section 641.
a time when DOD needs to focus on threats from terrorism and weapons
of mass destruction, the Administration is concerned with the potential
for the diversion of military focus to non-military matters. The
Administration seeks to work with the Congress to limit the number
of assignments or organizational embellishments that are not strongly
focused on or do not simplify the primary defense mission. Programs
such as the Medical Free Electron Laser are best left to government
agencies that have primary focus on medical and other non-defense
missions, and to the private sector. Initiatives such as the "Technology
Transition Initiative" (section 215), "Defense Acquisition Challenge
Program" (section 216), and "Quick-Reaction Special Projects Acquisition
Team" (section 809), while well intentioned, reduce rather than
provide the managerial flexibility that the Department needs. The
Administration seeks to give government managers more latitude to
manage their primary mission through the Freedom to Manage Act.
Administration opposes Section 335, which would expand the definition
of core logistics functions from maintenance and repair of weapons
systems to all the logistics capabilities including acquisition
logistics, supply management, systems engineering, maintenance,
and modification management needed to sustain weapons systems. By
doubling the number of personnel positions exempt from competition,
this provision would severely limit the Department's ability to
manage logistics and acquisition programs; to reduce life cycle
costs; and to foster economy, efficiency, high performance, and
continuous support for weapons systems. Furthermore, this provision
would undermine one of the President's top management agenda goals
to increase competitive sourcing.
Priority Access Service
Administration opposes the reduction of $37 million for the Defense
Information Systems Agency for Wireless Priority Access Service
(PAS). This program is a key element in the Administration's Homeland
Security improvement effort. It provides emergency first responders
as well as Federal, State, and local officials priority access to
cellular telecommunications in the event of an emergency. The program
schedule is ambitious, but September 11th clearly demonstrated the
need for this type of capability, and we should not delay implementation
any longer than necessary. Currently, both the local and nationwide
solution are on schedule and on budget. The National Communication
System expects to have initial operating capability by the end of
2002 and full operating capability by the end of 2003.
Closure Process Changes
Administration opposes any changes to the existing carefully-crafted
and carefully-considered statute for base closures and realignments
enacted only last year.
or Roller Bearings
Administration opposes Section 807, which expands the existing requirement
to procure only domestic ball or roller bearings -- to cover additional
devices including cam follower bearings and ball screws. This provision
would restrict competition, thereby decreasing the Department's
ability to obtain the best products at the best price. It would
add administrative complexity by forcing the Department and its
prime contractors to ascertain the place of origin of these parts
and to ensure no foreign-made parts are included in items purchased.
No known national security reason justifies the added costs and
administrative burden this provision would entail.
4546 contains a number of provisions that intrude on the President's
authorities under the Constitution as Commander in Chief, in the
conduct of foreign affairs, with respect to his responsibilities
to supervise the Executive Branch, and in other areas. These provisions
would be carried out in a manner consistent with the Constitution.
legislation contains constitutionally flawed provisions that are
inconsistent with the President's authority to supervise the unitary
executive branch and to submit for the consideration of Congress
such measures as he judges necessary and expedient (Secs. 144(c),
213, 404(d), 572(3), 1007(b)(8), 1022, 1102, 2814(d)(3), and 3152(b)(4))
and the President's authority as commander in chief of the armed
forces and the sole representative of the Nation in foreign affairs
(Sec. 1202). Moreover, it contains provisions (Secs. 211 and 1403(f)(4)
and (5)) that purport to give the force of law to conference committee
statements and committee reports, contrary to the bicameral adoption
and presentment requirements of the Constitution for enactment of
a law. Finally, it contains provisions (Secs. 215, 313, 1005(a),
3129(d), 3130(d), and 3144(a)(2)(B)) that purport to require the
heads of departments to act through particular subordinates or to
submit materials unreviewed to Congress, which is inconsistent with
the effective exercise of the President's constitutional authority
to supervise the unitary executive branch.
law that would reduce receipts or increase direct spending is subject
to the PAYGO requirements of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit
Control Act (BEA) and could cause a sequester of mandatory programs
in any fiscal year through 2006. The requirement to score PAYGO
costs expires on September 30, 2002, and there are no discretionary
caps beyond 2002. Preliminary OMB estimates indicate that the bill
would increase spending by $6.1 billion through FY 2007. The Administration
will work with Congress to ensure fiscal discipline consistent with
the President's budget and a quick return to a balanced budget.
The Administration also will work with Congress to ensure that any
unintended sequester of spending does not occur.