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President Signs $10.5 Billion Military Construction Act

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2001 – President Bush signed the $10.5 billion Military Construction Appropriations Act of 2002 into law Nov. 5.

The president originally asked for $9.97 billion. Congress added to the amount and also took away $55 million earmarked for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.

Bush said the act funds the vast majority of his requests for military construction projects. The act provides $4.1 billion for military family housing. He said these projects are critical to supporting military readiness and the quality of life for service members and their families. Of the total, $1.2 billion goes to new family housing units and improvements to existing units. The rest of the money goes to operations and maintenance of existing units.

The act includes the additional $400 million he requested aimed specifically at improving family housing. "I want to thank the Congress for including it in this bill," he said. "However, I am disappointed that the bill includes a 1.127 percent general reduction, and a rescission of $55 million from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization."

The act also funds $1.2 billion for barracks, $44 million for child development centers, $199 million for health care facilities and $953 million earmarked for the reserve components.

Funds for rebuilding the Pentagon following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack do not come from this legislation. That money is part of an emergency supplemental request before Congress that would also fund added anti-terrorist and force protection measures put into place since the attack.

In other legislative news, the House is working on the 2002 Defense Appropriations Bill in tandem with the emergency supplemental. Once the House completes work, the Senate will "mark-up" the bill. The 2002 Defense Authorization Bill is in conference. Put simply, the appropriations bill provides the money, and the authorization bill gives DoD the permission to spend it.

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