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Military

04 February 2002

Bush Seeks More Money for Military, Homeland Security for FY2003

(International programs get mixed treatment in proposal) (920)
By Andrzej Zwaniecki
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- President Bush has proposed a 3.7-percent increase in
government spending in the fiscal year beginning October 1 (FY2003),
with most of the increase directed toward the war against terrorism
and homeland security.
The $2,130,000 million budget proposal the White House sent Congress
February 4 reflects Bush's two priorities that have emerged since the
September 11 terrorist attacks.
"My budget provides the resources to combat terrorism at home, to
protect our people, and preserve our constitutional freedoms," the
president said in his budget message.
Bush has asked for a 12-percent boost in military spending, the
biggest increase in two decades, to fund the war and upgrade military
capabilities, and an almost 100-percent increase in outlays for
programs aimed at better protecting U.S. residents at home.
These overriding concerns emerge in proposed spending for programs,
including international programs, managed by various departments and
agencies.
The budget proposal includes:
-- $790 million more for the National Nuclear Security Administration
to work to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, with the
bulk of the new money covering costs of securing or eliminating
nuclear, chemical and biological warfare materials in states of the
former Soviet Union.
-- a $1,220-million increase in funding for Federal Bureau of
Investigation's and Immigration and Naturalization Service's enhanced
counterterrorism efforts. The main initiatives aim at better tracking
of non-U.S. citizens' cross-border movements and doubling the number
of border patrol agents on the border with Canada.
-- an $820-million jump in outlays for the Treasury Department that
would primarily go to the fight against terrorist financing and the
strengthening of customs border control activities.
-- over $1,000 million more for the Coast Guard to better protect U.S.
ports and maritime transportation system and $4,676 million for the
Transportation Security Administration, which was established in 2001
to better protect U.S. transportations system and its users. These
funds are likely to cover hiring more than 30,000 federal airport
security workers and installing explosive detection equipment at all
U.S. airports mandated by the law passed by Congress in 2001.
-- $24,300 million, $1,000 million more than appropriated for FY2002,
for foreign affairs operations, including activities related to the
war on terrorism and protection of U.S. personnel and facilities
abroad. The White House is also seeking $3,500 million to support
anti-terrorism efforts by foreign countries and additional funds for
reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. It also asks for
more money for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative to destroy the crops
and labs that produce cocaine in South American countries.
While proposed domestic and international expenditures are
concentrated around the war on terrorism, they are not limited to
war-related efforts. In his new budget the president proposes also a
$747,000 million boost in spending for international assistance
programs, including food aid and development assistance. It also asks
for a $1,000 million boost in funds for efforts to prevent and fight
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries.
One of the main themes of the FY2003 proposed budget is focusing on
results. Following on this principle, the White House is proposing a
performance-based financing framework for its contribution to the
World Bank's International Development Association, the Bank's
affiliate that makes highly concessionary loans to the poorest
countries. The Bush administration seeks to provide a base-level
annual contribution of $850 million for each of the three years of the
replenishment with additional contributions conditional on IDA's
ability to meet specific measurable goals.
The 2003 budget would support an increase in Export-Import Bank of the
United States (Ex-Im Bank) lending levels for U.S. companies selling
their product to countries where private financing is not available or
hard to get. This seems to represent a departure for the
administration, which a year earlier had proposed slashing Ex-Im's
budget, a proposal rejected by Congress
The president supports $73,500 million in new agricultural spending
through 2011 but his proposed overall budget for the Agriculture
Department would drop in FY2003 by $2,200 million compared to FY2002.
The farm bill, now in Congress, asks for more subsidies than the Bush
administration said it was willing to provide. The White House said it
would support "a generous farm bill" but emphasized it must be "based
on sound policy." The White House has repeatedly warned Congress that
a farm bill with a high level of subsidies might violate trade
agreements.
In this and other areas the president calls for "restraint in
government spending." He proposes, for example, to leave the Commerce
Department's funding basically unchanged.
One of the few agencies under the Commerce umbrella that may get a
significant boost in FY2003 is the Patent and Trademark Office. The
budget proposal calls for a 21-percent increase in office's spending
to streamline the patent approval process in order to increase U.S.
business competitiveness. The additional $239 million would allow the
agency to hire 950 new patent examiners and shift the submission and
review process to the Internet.
To cover the costs of these and other spending, the Bush's proposal
projects a $106,000 million deficit in FY2003.
The submission of the president's budget starts a months-long process.
Congress considers the president's budget proposals in drafting its
own budget plan and in passing the 13 annual spending bills for
operating the government after October 1. The president can sign or
veto any of those bills.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
http://usinfo.state.gov)



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