Defense Budget Trimmed

The newsletter Inside the Navy has reported the Clinton Administration's fiscal 1998 defense budget request will be $250.7 billion, which is 2.3 percent below the 1997 Pentagon budget, and will contain no significant increases in spending for critical weapons modernization programs.

According to a draft Defense Department press release obtained by Inside the Navy, the delay in boosting modernization accounts was made possible by Congress, which in recent years has maintained that the administration is not spending enough money on defense programs.

Since the Republicans took over Congress they have added billions of dollars to the defense budget, and DoD says this makes a sharp increase in weapons spending less pressing.

"This decline occurs because last year Congress added about $10 billion to the president's budget request for defense," the draft DoD release says.

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