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July 22, 1997
(Senate Floor)

BILL, FY 1998
(Sponsors: Stevens (R), Alaska; Burns (R), Montana)

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.

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