Lid is off defense spending in House

The House Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to report out a bill providing $317.5 billion for the Pentagon for fiscal 2002, but served notice through its leaders that this total will be raised substantially before the measure reaches the floor next week.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla., went so far as to tell his colleagues at the open markup session that the $317.5 billion represented only "a peacetime budget," not one big enough to finance the war terrorists triggered on Sept. 11.

Young told National Journal News Service after the meeting that the lid "is pretty much" off Defense spending and conceded that the nation is back to deficit budgets because of the new war. The political tenor of the open markup session indicated that the Pentagon's budget would be pushed up to at least $337 billion and probably higher.

House Appropriations ranking member David Obey, D-Wis., who usually votes against Defense appropriations bills on the grounds that they are ill-conceived and excessive, not only told his colleagues that the FY02 measure was "a good bill" but urged his colleagues to increase it.

"We ain't at peace no more," Obey said.

President Bush has requested Congress to appropriate an extra $20 billion for FY01 and another $20 billion for FY02. Lawmakers already have appropriated the first $20 billion supplemental but did not receive the inch-thick book documenting the needs for the second $20 billion until last week, Young said. He said the committee has not had time to comb through the White House request but will do so over the next several days, so the bill can go to the floor next week.

"It's clear to me that the $20 billion [request] is inadequate," Obey said.

He said Congress "has an obligation to do something about" the urgent money needs of agencies involved in the war against terrorism. He named the Pentagon, CIA, National Security Agency and FBI as among the agencies that should receive more money from Congress. The Defense appropriations bill is the place to add the funds, because "it will be the last train out of the station for quite some time," Obey said.

"This is only the beginning" of gearing up the nation to fight terrorism, said Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., referring to the Defense money bill.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.