Clinton to seek Defense budget boost

President Clinton will propose a $12 billion boost in defense spending for the year 2000-the largest increase in defense spending in a decade.

"We want our armed forces to remain ready to deploy rapidly in any crisis, and that is what this effort will assure, by funding joint exercises, flight training, badly needed spare parts and recruiting for critical positions," Clinton said Saturday during his weekly radio address. "We want our forces to remain the best equipped in the world into the next century, and that is what this effort will assure, by paying for the next generation of ships, planes and weapons systems."

The nation's top military commanders have been pressuring Clinton and Congress to boost armed forces spending.

In an October letter to Senate Armed Forces Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Adm. Jay L. Johnson, the Navy's chief of staff, wrote: "While service to country has always made heavy demands on our people, we cannot continually ask that they do more with less or seem uncaring to the hardships they endure."

Commanders told McCain the Pentagon needs an infusion of up to $27.5 billion a year to restore American forces to a full state of preparedness. Clinton's proposal will include a total increase of about $110 billion over the next six years.

If approved by Congress, the increase would fund a 4.4 percent across-the-board pay raise, the largest pay increase since 1984. It would also fund a round of new jet fighters, attack helicopters and warships. Pentagon officials said $2.5 billion would be used for pay and benefit increases, while $2 billion would be used for next year's deployment of nearly 7,000 troops in Bosnia.

The proposal would bring defense spending in the next fiscal year to $296 billion, up from this year's budget proposal of $265 billion.

"We must undertake this effort today so that our nation will remain strong and secure tomorrow. We must do it as well because we have the most sacred obligation to those who accept dangers and hardships on our behalf," Clinton said.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the proposal "falls way short" of the needs targeted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Warner told The Washington Post that Clinton was "very clever" to unveil his plan just before a planned hearing on military readiness before his committee on Tuesday.

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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