Congressional Scam to Increase Defense Spending ... or ...
Why "It's going to cost a lot to adjourn this year,"
the Hill Staffer said with a laugh.

July 28, 1998

Comment: #157

Discussion Thread:  #61


[1] George Wilson, "Congressional Hawks Devise New Battle Plan to Raise Defense Spending," LEGI-SLATE News Service (Attached)

The attached article by George Wilson describes a plan to slip in an increase in defense spending with a back door maneuver that will neither trigger a Presidential veto or visible violation of the last years balanced budget agreement. Readers should ask themselves whether capers like that explained below will fix (1) a modernization plan that cannot modernize the force even if it is fully funded and budgets increase steadily for the next 8 to 10 years, (2) a rapidly deteriorating readiness posture, triggered in part by the rising cost of low readiness, and (3) a corrupt accounting system that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fix the first two problems.

I would urge readers to review Eleanor Hill's statement to Congress in Comment #61 before evaluating the wisdom or patriotism of this Congressional maneuver.

[Disclaimer: In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 107, the following material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.]

Reference 1

Congressional Hawks Devise New Battle Plan to Raise Defense Spending

by George C. Wilson LEGI-SLATE News Service




The battle plan calls for waiting until the closing days of this legislative session to insert billions of dollars more for defense in a catch-all appropriations bill known as a continuing resolution, according to key Republican lawmakers and aides.


House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston, R-La., said in an interview that for those lawmakers desiring to raise the limits imposed on defense spending by the five-year balanced-budget agreement, using a continuing resolution "is the only way to do it." The powerful chairman favors appropriating more money for defense than allowed under the 1997 budget agreement but has not said how much more he believes is necessary.


Under the terms of the balanced-budget agreement [P. L. 105-33], which sets ceilings on defense funding through fiscal 2002, 60 of the 100 senators would have to vote to change those limits. A continuing resolution, in contrast, could be approved by simple majority vote.