Rules Committee Approves $290 Billion Defense Appropriations Bill For House Consideration

Rules Committee Approves $290 Billion Defense Authorization Bill For House Consideration

The House Rules Committee late last night approved the floor procedures for House action on a $289 billion FY2000 Department of Defense Authorization bill, legislation designed to fully fund U.S. armed forces while addressing the quality of life, readiness and modernization shortfalls currently facing the military.

“With our forces fighting in Kosovo and deployed in countries around the world, it’s clear that we need to provide adequate defense funding so our troops can do their job,” Dreier said. “Just because the Cold War is over, doesn’t mean that the world is a safe place. As the only superpower in an increasingly interconnected world, American leadership is needed to support and promote political freedom, economic freedom and individual freedom. A strong American military is a crucial component of U.S. leadership.”

Dreier pointed out that the U.S. military has been deployed three times more frequently in the last 10 years than in the previous 40 years. This increase in responsibilities comes on top of the reduction in funding and the downsizing of U.S. forces since the end of the Cold War.

The Committee approved a structured rule providing for two hours of general debate and 39 amendments. The amendment procedure is bipartisan, with 24 amendments to be offered by Republicans, 10 by Democrats, and five that are bipartisan - roughly proportional to the ratio of amendments offered. Specific information on the rule is available at the Rules Committee web site:

Specifically, the legislation provides for:

  • a 4.8 percent pay raise as well as increases in military housing allowances, and reenlistment bonuses;
  • $31.2 million for Department of Energy counterintelligence efforts, $12.6 million more than the Administration’s request;
  • $55.6 billion for weapons, ammunition and equipment procurement, $2.6 billion more than the Administration’s request;
  • $105.6 billion for readiness accounts, an increase of $2.8 billion over the Administration’s request;
  • $5.9 billion for Department of Defense environmental cleanup and management programs, $83.5 million more than the Administration’s request; and,
  • the establishment of a Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the National Defense Univ.