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First Gov  

July 17, 2002

BILL, FY 2003

(Sens. Byrd (D) West Virginia; Feinstein (D) California)

The Administration opposes the FY 2003 Military Construction Appropriations Bill, as reported by the Senate Committee. Total discretionary spending in the bill exceeds the President's request by $1.1 billion and the House-passed bill by $0.5 billion. In contrast, the House-passed bill is consistent with the House-passed Budget Resolution and is supported by the President.

The Administration strongly opposes the FY 2003 discretionary spending total adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which allows for $772.5 billion in spending, including $2.2 billion in emergency funds and $2.2 billion in inappropriate advances on FY 2004 spending. Fiscal discipline and constraints on overall government spending are critical to the Nation's ability to provide needed resources for national priorities and a fiscal environment that encourages continued economic growth and a quick return to a balanced budget. The President supports a discretionary spending total of $759.1 billion, consistent with the House-passed Budget Resolution. The President also urges the Congress to provide appropriations consistent with the President's request for defense and homeland security activities to support the war on terrorism and increased national homeland security efforts.

The Administration notes that the Executive Branch must implement Sections 107, 110, and 113 of the bill, which call for advance notice to congressional committees of activities between bases, initiation of a new installation abroad, or military exercises with construction costs exceeding $100,000, in a manner consistent with the President's authority to protect sensitive information regarding military operations.

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Senate to address these concerns as the process moves forward.