S 1005 -- 07/14/97
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July 14, 1997
(Senate Floor)

FY 1998
(Sponsors: Stevens (R), Alaska)

This Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views on S. 1005, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, FY 1998, as reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Your serious consideration of the Administration's concerns are critical to the effective operations of these important programs.

The Committee has developed a bill that provides requested funding for many of the Administration's priorities. We appreciate the Senate's decision to fund the National Missile Defense program at the levels recommended in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Likewise, we appreciate the Senate's fully funding, at requested levels, contingency operations in both Bosnia and Southwestern Asia.

The Administration, however, has serious concerns about certain provisions of the Committee bill. Under Committee scoring, the bill provides $247.0 billion in total discretionary funding, exceeding the President's request by $3.7 billion, an amount greater than the increase assumed in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. Achieving this funding level required a reallocation of funds from Department of Energy programs to Department of Defense programs, an action that we believe is an unacceptable deviation from our understanding of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. Moreover, the Committee bill provides funds for unrequested programs not in the DoD Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), at the expense of higher priority programs requested by the Department. We urge the Senate to eliminate funding for programs not anticipated in the Pentagon's long-range plans and restore funding to programs of higher priority.

Increases in Procurement Programs Not in the FYDP

The Committee has added $3.8 billion to the Administration's request for procurement and $0.6 billion to the request for research and development. Some of these increases are for programs that are not in the FYs 1998-2003 FYDP and are of questionable value to the Department's overall plans to modernize military forces. These additions include: $177 million for WC-130 weather reconnaissance aircraft; $40 million for the Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support program; $73 million for an oceanographic survey ship; $118 million for Spaced-Based Laser Technology; $50 million for the Clementine II Program; and, $50 million for Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite technology. While we appreciate the flexibility the Committee provides for allocating the National Guard and Reserve equipment increase, we nonetheless oppose the additional $653 million that has been added for programs not in the FYDP.

Incremental Funding of the CVN-77

The bill would provide the first increment of funding for the tenth Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier, CVN-77, by adding $345 million in FY 1998 to accelerate advance procurement and construction. Although the Administration is committed to building CVN-77 (the requirement for which was validated by the Quadrennial Defense Review), we oppose incremental funding of procurement programs. The FYs 1998-2003 FYDP fully funds CVN-77 construction in FY 2002. This schedule is consistent with force structure requirements and aircraft carrier replacement schedules. Restriction on Presidential Foreign Policy Prerogatives

The bill includes several general provisions that would limit the President's flexibility to conduct foreign relations regarding North Korea (section 8066) and to support United Nations peacekeeping operations (sections 8079 and 8081). The Administration urges the Senate to delete these provisions.

Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

The bill reduces DoD's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program by $60 million from the Administration's request. The CTR program is an important and highly effective means of enhancing U.S. security through eliminating weapons of mass destruction and preventing weapons proliferation. The request of $382.2 million is a bare-bones figure based on a difficult prioritization of a long list of potential projects. The proposed reduction would force DoD to delay several projects in the Former Soviet Union in critical areas such as the destruction of nuclear delivery systems and chemical weapons, improvements to the safety and security of stored nuclear warheads and fissile material, and the cessation of production of weapons-grade plutonium. The Administration urges the Senate to restore funding to the requested level.

Environmental Cleanup of Former DoD Sites in Canada

The Committee has denied a funding request for an environmental restoration program at former U.S. military bases in Canada. In October 1996, the U.S. agreed to pay for its fair share of the cleanup costs at bases used by the U.S. military during the Cold War. Failure to fund these activities would leave the U.S. unable to fulfill an agreement with a close ally. We strongly urge the Senate to fund this request.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Exercise Program Cuts

The bill recommends sharp reductions to requested funding for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) exercise program. This program provides for transportation of U.S. forces to engage in large-scale joint training operations with other U.S. services and allies. The Administration is concerned about the size of the reduction to this program and will work with the Congress to determine the appropriate funding level for JCS exercises as the bill moves through the process.

Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Assistance

The Administration objects to the Committee's $40 million cut to DOD's Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Assistance (OHDACA) account. The Administration requests restoration of funding for the OHDACA account to the President's requested level so that the Department can respond appropriately to unanticipated global emergencies.

F-22 Fighter Aircraft

The Committee-reported bill would eliminate $213 million requested for termination liability for the Engineering and Management Development (EMD) stage of the F-22 program. The bill also would delete $81 million requested for advance procurement funding for the F-22. These reductions would cause unnecessary disruption to the program as it transitions from EMD to low-rate production. The Administration asks that the Senate restore funding to the level requested in the President's budget to ensure that the program continues on a stable course, consistent with the changes identified by the F-22 Joint Estimate Team.

Strategic Sealift Ships

The Committee has not funded the Administration's request for two strategic sealift ships. Procuring sufficient sealift capability is a key element in our national strategy to respond to major theater wars and meet global crises in a timely fashion. The requirement for these sealift ships was originally identified in the Mobility Requirements Study (MRS), revalidated in the MRS Bottom Up Review Update, and confirmed in the QDR. Despite some early cost and schedule overruns, the program is now proceeding satisfactorily. The Administration urges the Senate to restore funding to the requested level and to allow continuation of this critical program.

Dual Use Application Program

The bill would appropriate only $125 million of the $225 million requested for the Dual Use Applications Program (DUAP). This program helps to develop and incorporate technologies used and tested by the cost-conscious commercial sector into military systems, allowing DoD to take advantage of cost savings that flow from the production efficiencies of larger-scale commercial manufacturing lines. Reducing funding for DUAP would result in higher costs for future defense systems. The Administration strongly opposes the Committee's reduction from the requested amount for this high priority program.

Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration Program

The Committee bill would reduce by $20 million the President's $121 million request for the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. This program supports work on new and innovative defense system concepts and could provide the basis for systems providing a decisive military edge over adversaries in the next century. This reduction would limit the Department's ability to test these new defense systems early in the development phase, when changes to these systems provide the greatest payoff. The Administration urges the Senate to restore funding to the level requested in the President's budget.

Next Generation Internet

The Committee would reduce the President's request of $40 million for the Next Generation Internet program by $30 million. This program will support research and development to connect university and Federal labs with high-speed networks that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet. The Administration urges the Senate to restore funding to the requested level for this important program.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The Administration objects to the termination of the Outrider unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program. The Outrider remains the highest priority UAV program, and its termination would significantly delay the fielding of any UAV reconnaissance capabilities.

O&M Appropriation by Budget Activity

By creating separate subdivisions at the Budget Activity level in Operations and Maintenance accounts, the Committee would severely restrict the flexibility of DoD financial managers to execute programs effectively. The effect of the Committee's action would require the use of transfer authority for every dollar transferred between Budget Activities at every level of command. The Administration strongly urges the Senate to appropriate funds for Operations and Maintenance programs at the account level, which is consistent with traditional practices.

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