House Dems introduce emergency defense spending bill

House Democrats, led by Defense Appropriations Subcommittee member Norm Dicks of Washington, have introduced a $6.7 billion emergency supplemental defense appropriations bill to address military needs, as identified by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for fiscal 2001.

Other original cosponsors were Democratic Caucus Chairman Martin Frost of Texas, Armed Services ranking member Ike Skelton of Missouri, and Reps. Chet Edwards of Texas, Norman Sisisky of Virginia and Ellen Tauscher of California.

The FY01 spending bill includes $1 billion for a military pay raise and housing needs, as well as funds to cover rising fuel costs, maintenance and spare parts.

Dicks, Skelton and Frost also have written to President Bush urging him to reverse course and submit an emergency defense supplemental funding request to Congress. Bush has declined to do so while Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld conducts a strategic review of defense spending priorities.

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