Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3116 - Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, FY 1994
(Sponsors: Natcher (D), Kentucky; Murtha (D), Pennsylvania)
This Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views on H.R. 3116, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, FY 1994, as reported by the House Appropriations Committee. Although the Administration generally supports H.R. 3116, the House is urged to address the concerns described below.
The Administration is pleased with the Committee's support for the Administration's investment program and key defense priorities, including readiness and acquisition programs such as the D-5 missile, B-2 bomber, F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter, and certain Navy ships.
The Administration appreciates the Committee's approval of a Global Cooperative Initiatives (GCI) transfer account for peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster assistance. However, the Committee bill would virtually halt such activity in FY 1994 by limiting expenditures to only the amount appropriated to the GCI account. DOD would be prevented from temporarily realigning funds to engage in such efforts in advance of reprogramming or supplemental appropriations. Also, the deletion of funds for military-to-military contacts would halt an important new initiative. The Administration urges that the prohibition on the use of any other funds for GCI efforts be stricken from the bill and that funding for Promotion of Democracy be restored.
The Committee bill would require the President to notify Congress and wait fifteen days before using any of the GCI funds for humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, peacemaking, or peace-enforcing operations. This provision raises serious constitutional questions with respect to infringing on the President's prerogatives in the conduct of foreign affairs and national defense. Therefore, the Administration strongly urges that the "notify and wait" requirement be deleted.
The Administration is concerned with the Committee's addition of funds for programs that were not in the President's request, including:
- AH-64 helicopters, TOW missiles, MLRS Rockets, C-130 aircraft, loan guarantees for shipbuilding and shipyard improvements, Defense Production Act purchases, and Guard and Reserve equipment. These are not high priority programs; and
- significantly greater funds for defense conversion programs. Although the Administration strongly supports defense conversion, the funds added by the Committee exceed the amount that can be spent effectively.
The Administration is concerned with the Committee's extensive earmarking of defense conversion funds in the report language accompanying H.R. 3116. The House is urged to provide the Administration flexibility to spend defense conversion funds in the most effective manner.
The Administration urges the House to delete funding for unrequested items and to provide funding as requested for programs cut by the Committee, including:
- Defense Environmental Restoration. The President's request for environmental cleanup of defense facilities is based on legally mandated requirements. Environmental cleanup should not be delayed.
- Intelligence programs. Any cut in funding greater than the cuts proposed in the Intelligence Authorization bill would seriously erode our intelligence capabilities.
- Operation and maintenance funding for inventories. automated data processing, communications, and other support activities. Reductions in these areas would lead to lower readiness.
- Counterproliferation programs. The funds requested in the budget are essential to our effort to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.
- C-17 aircraft. The Committee bill would adversely affect our ability to provide much needed strategic airlift.
- Defense research and development programs. Undistributed reductions to technology base programs and to "excess overhead" cannot be found in overhead alone and would severely undermine the technology base of the country.
- High-Performance Computing program. The committee's funding level would slow this program, which provides funds for technology in support of the National Information Infrastructure, an important Administration initiative.
The Committee bill would not provide the requested extension of authority to transfer prior-year funds for former Soviet Union threat reduction. The Administration urges the House to extend this transfer authority, which is required to support very important demilitarization efforts in the former Soviet Union.
The Committee bill includes provisions that would present obstacles to achieving the President's goals for reduction of the Federal workforce. Therefore, the Administration urges the House to delete sections 8035 and 8051, which would prevent personnel reductions at certain defense installations. The Administration also urges the House to delete section 8115, which would constrain the Department of Defense from increasing the amount of depot-level maintenance performed by non-government personnel.
The Administration urges the House to delete section 8096, which would impose position and compensation restrictions on the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for civil Works. Such restrictions could severely affect the Army's ability to carry out its civil works program and are contrary to the President's goals to make government work better and cost less.
William J. Clinton, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3116 - Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, FY 1994 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/330126