THE DAILY FED
Military Building Bill Breezes
The fiscal 1997 Military Construction appropriations bill breezed through a House-Senate conference Tuesday without the barest whisper of controversy, LEGI-SLATE News Service reported.Staffers expect the bill to the hit the floor of both chambers by the end of the week.
The $10 billion bill covers the construction of facilities at military bases, family housing and barracks, and pays the cost of closing down military facilities. The bill is a $1.2 billion cut from fiscal appropriated levels, but a full $850 million more than the president asked for in his budget request. "This is a smart bill that focuses on improving the quality of life for our servicemen and women, while saving the taxpayers $1.2 billion compared to last year," said House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Vucanovich, R-Nev.
At the same time, a statement issued by Vucanovich's office said the president's budget request "falls woefully short of adequately funding housing and barrack needs."
The conference report provides roughly $410 million for family housing construction, $340 million for general military construction projects and $250 million for the cost of closing military bases.
The White House has not issued a veto warning, even though the bill adds money to the president's budget.