Record DOD budget is a 'down payment'

Record DOD budget is a 'down payment'

President Bush yesterday signed into law the $317 billion Defense appropriations bill for fiscal 2002. He called it a down payment on his commitment to give the military enough resources to defeat terrorism.

During a ceremony at the Pentagon, Bush also approved $20 billion in emergency supplemental funding passed by Congress after Sept. 11.

The bill emphasizes homeland defense and military readiness, but it also takes note of quality of life in the military.

'We owe you decent pay and a decent quality of life,' Bush said at the Pentagon. 'We owe you the best leadership and training. We owe you the best equipment and weaponry.' Included are average pay increases of 6.9 percent for military personnel, $61 billion for new weapons and $50 billion for R&D.

The bill also keeps the Marine Corps involved in the $7 billion, Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, an enterprisewide, outsourced network. In August, the House Armed Services Committee called for the Marines to be released from the NMCI program.

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