Calling it a down payment in the global war on terrorism, President Bush signed the $317 billion fiscal 2002 Defense spending bill at a Pentagon ceremony Thursday. The Defense budget includes the largest increase in military spending in more than a decade and is more than $30 billion higher than last year's budget. Speaking to a crowd of top military and civilian Defense leaders, Bush said the bill reflects America's commitment to its armed forces and to winning the war on terrorism.
"We owe you, our service men and women, our best, because we owe you our freedom," Bush said. The fiscal 2002 budget includes:
- A $3.5 billion increase in pay for military personnel (an average pay raise of 6.9 percent).
- $61 billion for weapons procurement.
- A $3.9 billion increase for military health care programs.
- An $8 billion increase to operations and maintenance accounts.
- $50 billion for research and development of new weapons systems, including $8 billion for missile defense.
Bush also signed a bill providing $20 billion in additional emergency Defense spending, including $8.4 billion for homeland defense. Using forceful rhetoric, Bush told service members that the war against terrorism was not about delivering revenge, but about delivering justice. He ended his remarks by urging the military to "stay the course" and hunt down terrorists.