Conferees urged to boost defense spending for war on terrorism

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has proposed to the House-Senate conference committee on the fiscal 2002 defense authorization a $32.3 billion increase in spending to help the military services conduct the war on terrorism.

Hunter, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said his proposal is supported by Chairman Bob Stump, R-Ariz., and other GOP members, but has not been accepted by the Democrats.

Hunter said the money is needed for munitions, increased operations, intelligence, force protection, spare parts and equipment necessary to wage a prolonged conflict.

Otherwise, "we are not going to be able to sustain ourselves in a long war," he said.

Hunter said the Bush administration is trying to "conduct an aggressive Ronald Reagan foreign policy with a Jimmy Carter defense budget."

Some of the items covered by Hunter's request are included in the $40 billion supplemental Congress already has approved. But Hunter said the Pentagon is likely to get only $12 billion of that.

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