Conference committee reaches accord on Defense budget

A House and Senate conference committee has approved a $368.2 billion Defense appropriations bill for fiscal 2004.

The bill, which cleared committee Wednesday, increases spending for procurement, operation and maintenance, and research, development, test and evaluation by a combined $11.2 billion over this year's funding.

The level of IT funding in the resolved bill approved remained unclear today. The budget that President Bush sent to Congress earmarked $27.9 billion for IT. Two months ago, the House recommended a $320 million cut in IT spending. The Senate adopted the president's recommendations.

The appropriations bill will be posted tomorrow on

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