Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pentagon: Stimulus Includes Military Construction Projects

News in Balance

News in Balance:

EDITOR'S NOTE: In a report published here Feb. 2, I noted that the Obama administration has asked the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon's budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent -- about $55 billion -- according to a senior U.S. defense official.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2009 -- White House officials asked for a list of Defense Department programs that could be part of the stimulus bill, with total costs estimated over $1 trillion, now under Senate consideration, defense officials said.

The guideline was for projects that could “be started or accelerated within a matter of months,” officials said.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill, which includes about $10.9 billion in defense-related spending, Jan. 28. The Senate version calls for $7.2 billion in defense spending. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure today.

Once the Senate passes its version, members of both houses of Congress will meet to reconcile the differences. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for a bill he can sign by the weekend.

Military construction projects make up most of the request, defense officials said. These include funding for medical clinics, child care and housing facilities for the troops, improvements to military bases’ energy efficiency and research into renewable energy.

Pentagon officials said they welcome any funding that would help to improve the quality of life for servicemembers and their families.

(From a report by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, and additional sources.)

Related: Wire: Obama to Cut Funding to Troops

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