Rules Committee Approves New Defense Authorization Bill Procedures For House Consideration

Rules Committee Approves New Defense Authorization Bill
Procedures For House Consideration

WASHINGTON - The House Rules Committee last night approved new 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. The new procedures include the recently completed bipartisan, legislative recommendations of the Select Committee on National Security (the Cox Committee).

"Our forces fighting in Kosovo and deployed in countries around the world expect adequate defense funding so they can do their job," said Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). "Although the Cold War is over, the world is not 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."

The U.S. military has been deployed three times more frequently in the last 10 years than in the previous 40 years, Dreier noted. These increased deployments have come 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 one hour of general debate and the consideration of 47 amendments. The amendment procedure is bipartisan, with 26 amendments to be offered by Republicans, 13 by Democrats, and 8 that are bipartisan - roughly proportional to the ratio of amendments offered. Specific information on the rule is available at the Rules Committee web site: www.house.gov/rules.

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.