Liberal Dems rip Clinton's defense spending plan

Liberal Dems rip Clinton's defense spending plan

Liberal House Democrats Thursday denounced President Clinton's proposal to devote more than $100 billion to increased defense spending over the next six years, suggesting it reflects an unwillingness on his part to confront the military, the Associated Press reported.

"If I could go back in history and change one thing, I would probably give President Clinton two years of military service so that he would not be so easily intimidated by military opposition to his policies," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said.

Responding to concerns about military readiness by Pentagon leaders and many in Congress, Clinton is expected to propose $12 billion more in defense spending in FY2000 as the first installment in a six-year plan to spend an additional $110 billion.

Frank and a dozen other Democrats told a news conference the increase is unwarranted given lessened world tensions in the post-Cold War era.

"Certainly the president's announcement is a misguided one," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "The Cold War has ended. Why are we doing this?"