Officials say purchase would save 10 percent over a traditional contract.
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Unions feel confident OPM review will lead to program’s elimination.
Program that includes small unmanned air and ground vehicles is emerging as one of the biggest targets for cuts in the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill.
Increase is fueled by spending to invigorate the economy and a fall in revenue.
Other approved funds included $168 billion for the military's operations and maintenance accounts.
Rep. Steven Buyer, R-Ind., tells Veterans Affairs secretary that hundreds of the department’s contractors are not adhering to rules and regulations requiring them to encrypt data stored on computers.
But the administration has not yet directed agencies to post contract documents online.
Other legislative priorities, including a war supplemental, could crowd out the spending blueprint.
Increase of half a percentage point over administration request comes just days after Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Congress to hold the line on raises.
Bills range from therapeutic companion dogs to chiropractors for injured or emotionally troubled vets.